Hi, my name is Joan Fisher and I am a quilter when I find the time time and love textiles especially the social history. I used to live in Kuwait where I worked with Al-Sadu House and the Kuwait Textile Arts Society and met Jenny Bowker and the ‘Tentmakers of Cairo’ and I have been working with them since then.
I love introducing new people to their lovely work. I took Tarek and Hosam to Birmingham and since then my husband John and I have been to France twice with them first to Quilt en Beaujolais in Villefranche just outside of Lyon and then to Aiguille en Fete in Paris earlier this year.
We have attended the quilt Expo in Veldhoven,Holland http://www.textile-festivals.com/expo2014/ We have also been to Art in Action at Waterperry and will be going again in July this Year. I also work with the Upstairs Gallery Berkhamsted which I set up with Jenny Thorburn and Joanna Bryant.
You can look at the website http://www.upstairsgallery.co.uk
If you are interested in any of the tent makers work or would like us to give a talk to your group about their work you can get in touch with us by clicking the following link:
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The Tentmakers of Cairo
As you walk down the Chariah-el Khaiamiah, the home of the ‘Tentmakers’ you can see a feast of colours and the most incredible pieces just hanging on the doors and walls assaulting your senses with colour and tempting you to enter and view more.
Here you will not find the usual touts pleading to part you form your money but inside of each shop you will find a friendly smile, a cup of chai and one of the tentmakers sitting crossed legged on a small bench cutting his fabric with huge shears and expertly turning under the edges as he hand stitches his design at a speed we can only admire. The designs are complex and colourful and beautifully executed as they have been from generation to generation.
The men, for they are all men, who work in the street are always ready to stop and share their work with you. Amazing you with their eye for colour and their speed of execution and their minute stitches worked with enormously long needles compared to ours to produce their delightful pieces. We would like to introduce you to some photos of the ‘Street’ – more photos later watch for updates if you would like more information on the street you could watch Kim Beamish’s video The Tentmakers of Chareh El-Khiamiah. Kim is an Australian Journalist and filmaker who has been working with the guys and filmimg over the last year. You can look them up on www.tentmakersofcairo.com