‘The Art of Islamic Illumination: A Personal Reflection’ by Fareena Chanda of the Friday Collective

Fareena Chanda's work in progress, after a Mamluk illuminated pattern

I was very moved reading this heartfelt and insightful article, reflecting upon the experience of learning a traditional Islamic craft. Fareena Chanda spent a week studying the art of tezhib / tezhip (Islamic manuscript illumination) at my studio in Windsor earlier this year. Over the course of a week, we explored traditional methods for preparing paper, creating shell gold and making paints from pigment, brushwork, and traditional painting techniques from the world of Islamic illuminated manuscripts. In her article, Fareena expresses the essence of creating an illuminated artwork.

The process of creating an illuminated painting, stage by stage. Fareena Chanda uses one of my designs to practice her technique.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how Fareena’s studies and travels will influence her future creative path.

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Incredible artwork from my students; future Islamic art courses in Windsor

Beautiful illumination work from my student Mariam Yasin, produced on my Summer Islamic art courses.

A little update on the incredible work produced by my students over the summer in my Islamic art workshops. We held classes in Islamic manuscript illumination (or tezhib / tezhip, as it is known in Arabic and Turkish), geometry, and Islamic floral design / silk scarf painting. Classes took place at my beautiful new studio in Windsor, Berkshire, UK! We had students travelling from as far afield as Mexico City, the US, and Dubai, as well as London, Manchester, Derby, Reading, Slough, and Woking. What a talented and dedicated bunch! The next run of courses start on Saturday, 10th October 2015. We will be exploring geometry in illuminated Islamic manuscripts, recreating beautiful frontispieces by constructing patterns with a ruler and compass. Students will also learn how to make their own paints from pigment, and genuine gold leaf (shell gold).

Keep updated with my courses and artwork on Facebook and Instagram.

Join us! And spread the word!

In the meantime, here are some images from my Summer 2015 Islamic art workshops:

Students Nicki Wiseby (l) and Sharmina Haq (r) produced these stunning floral designs inspired by Islamic biomorphic patterns.

Students experiment with colour samples and painting techniques for their silk work.

Raanaz Shahid's illumination work in progress. Students learnt how to make their own paints from gold leaf and pigment. They then applied these colours to their work using traditional methods. We stored our paints in shells - light and portable, just as illuminators and miniaturists would have used these centuries ago.

Students apply striking ultramarine blue backgrounds to their work.

Illumination work is progressing nicely! Top row: Nicki Wiseby (l), Mariam Yasin (r). Bottom row: Raanaz Shahid

Completed work from Mariam Yasin (top l and r). Work is near completion from Raanaz Shahid (bottom row).

Finally, here is a beautiful clip of the work of Margarita Puente, who travelled all the way from Mexico city to learn about Islamic art! In the clip, Margarita is burnishing shell gold for the first time – a truly magical experience!

#islamicart #islamicartworkshops #islamicartcourses #islamicmanuscriptillumination #tezhib #tezhip #islamicpattern #islamicdesign #windsor #ayeshagamiet #silkpainting #islimi #islamicgeometry #textiles #textiledesign #islamicartstudio

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Graduation Day at Cambridge University

Ayesha Gamiet: Graduation day at Cambridge University. Receiving my degree at Senate House.

Last weeks’ graduation ceremony at the University of Cambridge, where I received my Masters degree in Education. Feeling incredibly blessed, inspired, grateful, and hopeful for the future.

‪#‎blessings‬‪ #‎gratitude‬ ‪#‎hope‬ ‪#‎love‬ ‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎creativity‬ ‪#‎inspiration‬ ‪#‎universityofcambridge‬‪#‎homertoncollege‬ ‪#‎graduation‬ ‪#‎art education‬ #ayeshagamiet

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New Islamic studio in Windsor, Berkshire, UK!

My new studio / teaching space in Windsor, Berskshire, UK, Ayesha Gamiet 2015

My new studio in Windsor, Berkshire, is up and running and ready for business! I’ve really enjoyed teaching my first few classes in this light, bright peaceful space. As well as running Islamic art courses/ small group and private tuition, I am also available for art commissions. Do get in touch!

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Islamic geometry and plaster carving workshop at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education

Students' geometry drawing and plaster carving in progress. University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. Islamic art workshop with Ayesha Gamiet.

Last week, I was back at Cambridge University to deliver my second Islamic art workshop for the year. I had a full day to work with the wonderful trainee art teachers, so I decided to go into a little more depth in teaching Islamic geometry. I also gave students the opportunity to try their hand at plaster carving – a skill I intend to include in my forthcoming summer workshops.  In the morning session, I delivered a short illustrated talk on Islamic design. We also discussed how Islamic art might be integrated into schemes of work in the art curriculum, and talked about cultural sensitivities that teachers might need to be aware of when teaching Muslim children.

Students explore 12-fold Islamic geometry, then experiment with creating their own patterns for plaster carving. University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. Islamic art workshop with Ayesha Gamiet.

After a quick geometry “warm up”, (yes, it is possible to warm up for geometry!) we moved onto creating 12-fold patterns, where students used tracing paper overlays to experiment with their own personalised 12-fold designs. We also constructed a traditional 12-fold pattern from the Islamic world.

A student creates their own unique design for a plaster carving based upon their new knowledge of 12-fold geometry. University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. Islamic art workshop with Ayesha Gamiet.

After lunch, students started work on the plaster carvings! They were given the opportunity to work from their own designs, developed in the morning session, or to work from the traditional 12-fold pattern that we constructed together.

Plaster carving works in progress. University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. Islamic art workshop with Ayesha Gamiet.

Plaster carving works in progress. University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. Islamic art workshop with Ayesha Gamiet.

As usual, their work was absolutely beautiful! I look forward to seeing the finished results next time I am in Cambridge.

If you like what you see here, and would like to book me for a workshop or an art commission, please do get in touch via the contact form on my website. I am happy to develop a bespoke workshop or course to suit your requirements. I teach from my studio in Windsor, Berkshire, UK, where I run Islamic art courses for the public, as well as engage in small group and private tuition. I can also travel to you – there are lots of options! Drop me an email to discuss further!

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Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan Mubarak! Artwork (c) Ayesha Gamiet 2015

Ramadan Mubarak! Wishing you much peace and many wonderful blessings for the Holy Month.

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Local press coverage of my upcoming Islamic art courses

Slough and Windsor Observer article: Islamic art classes with Ayesha Gamiet in Windsor, Berkshire, UK

A lovely article* on my upcoming Islamic art classes published in the Slough and Windsor Observer today! So much looking forward to this! First classes are on the 27th of June, running throughout the summer.

Book soon to receive a 20% discount off your course(s).
http://ayeshagamiet.eventbrite.co.uk
For further info please email: info@ayeshagamiet.com

Islamic art classes in Windsor, Berkshire, UK with Ayesha Gamiet.

*Correction: Arshad Gamiet is not a trustee of Stoke Poges Mosque*

‪#‎islamicartcourses‬ ‪#‎islamicartcoursesuk‬ ‪#‎islamicgeometry‬‪#‎islamicmanuscriptillumination‬ ‪#‎islamicart‬ ‪#‎arabesque‬ ‪#‎islimi‬ ‪#‎tezhib‬‪#‎windsor‬

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New studio and new Islamic art courses, yay!

Islamic Art Courses: Summer 2015 Flyer

UPDATE: 20% DISCOUNT off courses booked before the 27th of June 2015.

For further info email: info@ayeshagamiet.com

I am super happy and excited to tell you of my new studio where I will be teaching new Islamic art courses taking place over Summer 2015! Please come along, spread the word, and let’s make lots of incredible art. It would be lovely to see you there. There will be beautiful art, lovely people, and I will bring cake. What more could one want?

Please feel free to view images from previous workshops below, in my gallery and on my Facebook page.

Oh! And please let your friends and family know. The link to all course details and bookings is here.

Thank you, and hope to see you there!

Teaching at the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar

Islamic manuscript illumination demonstration for the public at Doha Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar

Talking about my work at the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar

Student's work from Islamic manuscript illumination course at the Prince's School of Traditional Arts, London

Student's development of geometry and floral patterns from a workshop at Taibah University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Student's development of geometry and floral patterns from a workshop at Taibah University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia

A student's ink and brush colour studies used as inspiration for developing a unique floral design, from Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia

From a workshop held at Cambridge University Faculty of Education: A trainee art teacher uses principles of rotational symmetry to develop an Islamic art-inspired design. This is then transferred onto silk and painted.

From a workshop held at Cambridge University Faculty of Education: A trainee art teacher adds finishing touches to their Islamic art-inspired design and silk painting.

A group project from Taibah University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Students learn about geometry and biomorphic pattern - key principles of Islamic design. They draw upon these principles to create large illuminated frontispieces.

A group project from Taibah University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Students learn about geometry and biomorphic pattern - key principles of Islamic design. They draw upon these principles to create large illuminated frontispieces.

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Free, downloadable Islamic art colouring sheets for children

Bird Miniature Painting Colouring Sheet, Ayesha Gamiet 2015

Iznik Ceramics Colouring Sheet - Can you finish the design on the vase and plate? Ayesha Gamiet 2015

Mosque Garden Colouring Sheet - Design your own mosque and garden! Look at the completed section for some ideas. Ayesha Gamiet 2015

Please feel free to download and print these children’s colouring sheets! I created these activities a few years ago, whilst working on a practical, hands-on, children’s guide to Islamic art. Sadly, my publisher was unable to complete the project due to financial reasons, so the book never made it to publication. However, I do still have my sketches and completed artwork, which could be a lot of fun for kids to complete!

These images work best when printed on a slightly heavier weight A3 paper, e.g. cartridge paper or thin card (around 120 – 150 gsm, or as thick as your printer can manage!) Thicker paper or card will allow for easier use of paints on the surface.

Enjoy colouring!

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New work added to my gallery!

…and about time, too! New work has been added to the artwork and illustration galleries, and I have updated the workshop section with images from my classes in Doha and Cambridge. Pop along and take a look!

P.S. This beautiful little Persian folk tale is currently out for submission and looking for a home with a lovely publisher who will nurture and take care of it. If you work in publishing, or know of a publisher who might be interested, please drop me an email via my contact form. Many thanks!

Illustration to a traditional Persian folk tale (1), (c) Ayesha Gamiet 2014

Illustration to a traditional Persian folk tale (2), (c) Ayesha Gamiet 2014

Posted in Children's book illustration, Getting Published, Islamic Art Courses, Islamic Art for Children, Islamic Manuscript Illumination, News, Student's Work, Teaching | Leave a comment