The workshop shelves were filled with beautiful wooden storage boxes of different shapes and sizes, each intricately decorated – some with arabesque patterns and other with metal motifs that are typical of pieces made in Marrakesh. In the centre of the room sat Hussein Souiri and he worked busily on the unusual Berber shelf that rested on the workbench in front of him next to a distinctively shaped coffee table. Watching him as he worked, he seemed oblivious of his surroundings, as his thoughts were of Marrakesh hundreds of years ago when the motifs he was using to decorate the distinctive wall shelf were still evolving and being passed down from father to son.
Hussein Souiri has been a craftsman all his life and first learned the skills of wood carving and decoration as a young boy. Since then he has continued to make his wonderful array of pieces in the same traditional way using the same tools and techniques. He spends endless hours at work, painstakingly recreating the traditional designs and patterns that make each piece of his work priceless. Hussein is well respected in the community and regarded as a top artisan and often the workshop where he works is full of lively discussion and debate as artisans from all over the city converge there to exchange ideas and opinions. Sometimes Hussein joins in the lively conversation, but more often than not, he prefers to listen as he gently applies colour or filigree metal motifs to his latest work.