In this 3-part lecture series, learn to draw geometric patterns found in Moroccan architecture.
Join Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA) and traditional Moroccan multi-disciplinary craftsman Hamza El Fasiki for a hands-on introduction to Moroccan geometric drawing, a craft that’s been passed down orally through generations. As Hamza learned from his father, you’ll be given the opportunity to take part in this continued legacy.
Using basic geometric instruments like a compass and ruler, we’ll learn how to draw three distinct patterns original to Morocco—beginning with a motif called Rafraf, which means the Kingfisher birth, and can be found on a public fountain. We’ll then cover a pattern from a private house, and finally, one found in Sidi Ahmed Tijani Zawiya, a Sufi shrine built in the late 18th century. During each session, there will be time to ask questions, draw together, and share—all the while, virtually visiting Morocco alongside Hamza to gain a better understanding of the cultural and practical applications of the art. We'll be actively drawing in class, so participants are encouraged to come to each session with the suggested materials (below) so they can try by hand the old traditional Moroccan techniques of compass and ruler while drawing their own patterns. These patterns can be used as wall decorations, or can be transferred to leather, ceramics, wood, or brass.
This course is open to anyone interested in learning about geometric drawing and celebrating the richness of arts and crafts of the kingdom of Morocco, and Fes Medina in particular! No prior experience is required.
Syllabus at a Glance
There are three total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for two hours on three consecutive Sundays beginning May 2.
Session 1 (Sunday, 5/2, 2–4 PM ET): Rafraf: Pattern from a public fountain
Session 2 (Sunday, 5/9, 2–4 PM ET): Private house pattern
Session 3 (Sunday, 5/16, 2–4 PM ET): Sidi Ahmed Tijani Zawiya: Sufi Shrine
Outside of class, students will be encouraged to create patterns related to the course material, which can take one to three hours. We’ll share these patterns during class to celebrate and learn from each other’s work and get feedback from Hamza.
Participants should bring the following materials to each session:
- A geometry compass
- 2 pencils that fit inside the compass (mechanical pencils are ideal)
- Paper (A4 or A3)
- Coloring pencils and/or watercolors (optional)
We currently offer tiered ticket pricing in an effort to increase accessibility for all students, regardless of economic situation. Our lecture series are available at three ticket prices, with a limited number of no-pay spots available for students who could not otherwise participate. This model is intended to support a wider range of students as well as our instructors. To learn more about our tiered sliding scale pricing model, please visit our FAQ page.
Atlas Obscura Online Courses
Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.
To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.
For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.
Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA) is a platform to book mini-apprenticeships with remarkable artists and makers around the world – from ceramics in Slovenia, tango in Argentina to natural textile dyeing in Vietnam.
Hamza joined as a VAWAA artist 3 years ago to offer mini-apprenticeships to travelers around the world. He is an Andalusian Oud musician, a geometer, brass-smith, bookbinder, paper-marbler, and founder of a crafts studio dedicated to Moroccan arts and crafts in Fes. He comes from a multigenerational family of artisans and passing on crafts knowledge is a family culture. He apprenticed under his father and traveled around 15 countries crafting and learning from masters. Now his mission is to continue this legacy and help people around the world connect with old Moroccan crafts. His traditional art revolves around the art of Compass & Ruler. With those two instruments, he draws and traces Moorish and Islamic geometric patterns, etches and engraves them on brass and copper trays and embosses them on leather book covers.
This lecture series is designed so students can participate live or watch a recording after each session airs. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. Within 72 hours after each session airs, we will email all enrolled students a recording of the session, which they can watch using a temporary password for up to two weeks after the course concludes.
In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.
We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.