by Villa 88
  • 1 minute read
  • January 11, 2020
Woman Of The Week: Meet The UAE’s First National Jewelry Artist

Azza Al Qubaisi’s workshop in Abu Dhabi is a sight to behold. Bedecked with wearable art, it’s a space that illustrates the breadth of her enigmatic work that spans the past 17 years. In one corner, you’ll find Azza playing with fire, metalsmithing cuttlefish bone to create her wondrous pieces. As the first national jewelry artist, she has mastered this Asian technique of creating a mould by pouring silver into it, among many others.

The art veteran has several jewels in her crown. She was listed in Forbes Middle East’s 2014 list of the ‘200 Most Powerful Arab Women’, won the British Council 2011 YCE Awards, and more recently, was recognized as one of the ‘UAE’s Notable Women’ at the Mother of the Nation Festival 2019. A self-starter who has risen through the ranks, Azza is the creative force behind ARJMST, a brand that has played a key role in furthering local handicrafts. “Having the ‘Made in UAE’ mark is a source of pride and it’s our way of contributing and giving back,” she says.

Azza pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Silversmithing, Jewelry Design and Allied Crafts from London Guildhall University (now London Metropolitan University), and a Master’s degree in Cultural and Creative Studies from Higher College of Technologies, Abu Dhabi. On the personal front, she ensures her children are well-acquainted with her work. “I allow them to be involved in the materials that I work with when I’m experimenting at home, and sometimes they also get to accompany me at the workshop.”

Azza also has her future goals set in stone; she hopes to collaborate with artists through a cultural handicrafts preservation project, grow her range of ready-to-sell products and online shopping platform, and develop her bespoke gifts and trophy series, along with ‘Yareeda’, her sustainable furniture line.

Instagram: @Azzaalqubaisi

Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh

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