S A L T

    SALT
   SIWA
  OASIS
 EGYPT
ARTISANS

Salt from Siwa Oasis
These days one cannot think about Siwa without thinking about salt. It has become a main export from the oasis and the resource is abundant. Underneath the oasis is a thick layer of salt mineral, only surfacing in the sea green lakes boarding Siwa town.

But only ten years ago this was still unknown. The locals new where to harvest their salt which they largely used to preserve the olives, and some new where to find big blocks of salt that could be dragged out of the muddy lake shores and carved into shapes or used in house building.

One of these men had a mission. With a past in olive tree carving, the salt was a welcoming and sustainable source for his designs. Soon others recognized the potential and now the artisan has a thriving workshop in the middle of Siwa town from where he produces everything from candlesticks to tables and walls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M E T A L

METAL
  IN
   KHAN
  EL
KHALILI

Workshop in Khan El Khalili
Tucked away in a small back alley of the ancient market Khan El Khalili in down town Cairo is the small workshop of Amin, the copper smith. As a boy Amin walked through this area that back then was full of copper workshops making everything from the traditional bean cooker to water pipes and lantern for ramadan.

As he grew up his dream to make his own workshop came through and with the support and help from his four brothers he has become a true artist in the field. Innovation and stubbornness has guided him through many of the BYHAA designs challenges that alternates the traditional ways of working into new designs and ideas.

The Egyptian copper handicraft is heavily threatened by the cheaper labor in Asia and the cheaper readymade products now flooding the market. BYHAA's designs focuses on the handmade aspect creating products where the work of the hand is visible.

 

 

 

 

 

 



T E X T I L E

EMBROIDERY
WOOL
 COTTON
  AFRICAN
   ARTISANS

From tarfottet to kikoi
It was the wish of a Siwan lady to buy one of their traditional scarves called Tarfottet in the village of Kerdessa outside Cairo that tricked what became the first BYHAA product. In many generations the women of Siwa have worn a specific handmade scarf that was traded by the traders riding in caravan through the desert. The scarves came from Kerdessa, on of the last stops on the route, and until this day, the same scarf is still a necessary equipment of any married Siwan woman.
Upon discovering the factory, where men were weaving the scarves soon other designs started to take form. Designs rooted in South Egyptian or Berber culture, using their symbols and techniques to create designs that otherwise reflected the Scandinavian taste of simplicity and subtleness.
Later the textile work was expanded to South Egypt, the sleepy town of Akhmim, another ancient hub for handmade textile and lastly to Kenya where a group of women led by Mrs.Rose is bringing beautiful traditional kikuyo tribal materials to life.

 

 

 

 

 

 



C L A Y

    CLAY
   OLD
  CAIRO
   POTTERY
    TRADITION

Family business in Darb
This part of Old Cairo called Darb has since become a clay metropolis. The area is like stepping into a chapter of the Aladdin tale. Sand coloured houses in North African architectural style, small alleys partly covered in clay jugs left in the sun to dry and beautiful carved doors leading into small ateliers or factories occupied by artisans.

In the furthest corner you find this factory which is these days being run by his son. A narrow three-level building, each floor packed with jugs, trays, plates and vases in turquoise, cobalt blue and earth tones.

 

 

 

 

 

 



G L A S S

  RECYCLE
GLASS
  AESTHETICS
EL
  NECROPOLIS

Glass blowers in City of the Dead
In an Islamic necropolis located in Southeastern Cairo, the family of the glass blowers resides. On this vast graveyard, amongst mausoleums and tombs a community has sprouted. This community of people, forced out of residential areas of Cairo due to over population, has now created their own village in the city, living next to the dead.

The part of the necropolis where the glass blowers are working is peaceful and tranquil. People mind their business in a calm way, much unlike the rest of Cairo. When you enter the alley, you see all the colourful glass outside the small workshop, glasses, bottles and gold decorated perfume flacons. Inside the colours sparkles from all angles.

The glass designs in the ByHAA collection is all made from recycled glass to create minimum waste material and to give what some may consider garbage a chance for a second life.

 

 

 

 

 

 



W O O D

SUSTAINABLE
   TRIBAL
    HIGHLAND
    CENTRAL
     KENYA

Wood collective in Kamba district
In Kenya some of the best wood carvers in the world can be found. After extensive research, amazing journeys through mountain landscapes and flat grasslands and an extended collection of samples from carvers all over the country, finally a visit to the Kamba tribe in the Central Highlands of Kenya put and end to the search.

The Kamba tribe is traditionally known for their woodcarving skills. Knowing that commercial cutting of trees will damage their land, members of the Kamba tribe has created a collective where wood is sustainably harvested and new trees are planted. This way they can maintain the local source of wood. Their speciality is intricate sculptural carving, but in the ByHAA products we have emphasized the smooth surfaces and the almost invisible touch showing the work of different hands shaping the simple designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 



S T O N E

NILE
    EGYPT
ANCIENT
   STONE
CRAFTMANSHIP

Masonry from the banks of the Nile
Already during the Pharaonic era, Egyptians used the stones found in the nearby mountains to do impressive carvings. The transparent alabaster stone and the softer snow white lime alabaster workshops are till this day still located on the banks of the Nile in South Egypt with a breathtaking backdrop of the ancient necropolis, Valley of the kings.

Harder stones such as the Egyptian marble and the black and green granite are also found in South Egyptian mountains, but then transported to Cairo where the workshop uses simple machinery to cut the rocks.

The white alabaster is carved by hand solely and the process of hardening the stone takes 5 days. Each day after being cut, the stone is covered in material soaked with a silica solution to harden and strengthen the stone for the next day's carving.

 

 

 

 

 

 



I N T E R I O R


Salt | midi

ALL PRODUCTS ARE PROUDLY MADE BY HAND

Glass | Glass

ALL PRODUCTS ARE PROUDLY MADE BY HAND

Brass | Dobbelt Halfmoon

ALL PRODUCTS ARE PROUDLY MADE BY HAND

Brass | String Lamp - small

ALL PRODUCTS ARE PROUDLY MADE BY HAND