Morocco-an exotic, interwoven tapestry of many cultural influences, enduring traditions, and rich artisanal heritage of metalwork, embroidery, ceramics, woodcarving, and weaving! Weaving is one of this country’s most significant cultural expressions. It’s the thread that connects the past with the present, utility with artistry. Moroccan rugs and blankets, hand woven on looms by women in the Atlas Mountains, are still used extensively in most every Moroccan home, and now admired and exported throughout the world.
And because weaving is so central to the art and culture of this country, we can’t think of a better place to be inspired, connected and creative by joining in a weaving workshop here in Marrakech at Maison 28. This Weaving Retreat course introduces traditional Moroccan weaving styles and techniques and inspires you to interpret them into original, contemporary works of art and home decorating pieces. Open to all levels. The only prerequisite is a desire to learn, share, and grow!
Meet our Guest Teacher Asmaa Aman-Tran, a Moroccan-born weaver and ceramicist, raised in Casablanca, and now living in Boston with her husband Chris and young daughter Nylaa.
Asmaa is proud and appreciative to have had the chance to grow up in Morocco, being influenced by its exceptional and diverse culture, its colors and wonders, and the centuries-old techniques of pottery, jewelry making, and weaving.
After working for a time in graphic design and visual merchandising she realized a need to be creating things with her own hands, and discovered weaving for herself in 2016, Constantly inspired by the endless possibilities, Asmaa’s woven art reflects the rich mosaic of artisanal traditions and varied cultural influences that make Morocco such a source of creative inspiration!
But what she most enjoys is taking traditional Moroccan weaving and knotting techniques and blowing fresh air into them. In Asmaa’s hands lambskin meets copper, wool meets clay, and the silver sequins found in Moroccan wedding blankets (Handiras) knotted into much of her work in new and unique ways and sold through her business Hand and Fiber.
She says, “My work is about sharing the richness of my Moroccan roots through exceptional techniques and mediums to make something truly unique and special.” Find more of Asmaa’s work on Instagram.
There is a creative energy that hums in the city-from the traditional souk artisans working in the same techniques for hundreds of years to contemporary artists and creative entrepreneurs who are reinterpreting Moroccan design for current trends. Inspiration can be found around every corner. Jaw-dropping historic architecture, vibrant colors woven into the beautiful patterns of carpets, zouak painting and zellij tile designs, and the intricate arabesque carvings into metal, wood, and plaster -all serve to create a visually stimulating environment that is an artisan’s dream come true.
NOT your typical Marrakech Riad, Maison 28 is your home in Marrakech to stay, create, and play!
Located in the heart of the Marrakech Medina in a quiet residential area, Maison 28 is strategically located within a few minutes walk to the souks.
You’ll find an inspiring, comfortable group home that provides the ideal environment for teaching and learning creative passions, developing new friendships, discovering artisan-made treasures in the nearby souks, delicious cuisine in the local restaurants, and experiencing the culture like a local.
The house features casual-luxury style and eclectic bohemian décor sourced from the local souks and flea markets and placed with a creative eye. Designed with love, it features:
7 special, eclectically designed guest rooms with the décor sourced from the local souks and flea markets.
Maision 28 is a safe and inspiring place that provides the opportunity for enriching creative cultural exchanges and life-changing experiences while developing a deeper connection to the unique culture and community of Marrakech.
Day 1 – Thursday March 28
marhaba! a warm welcome to Marrakech!
Plan your arrival to Marrakech for late morning/midday with Airport Transfer to Maison 28. We’ll welcome you with Atay (Moroccan Mint Tea) and pastries. Enjoy an alfresco lunch at a local restaurant Medina restaurant followed by an optional visit to the Heritage Museum of Marrakech. Dinner together at a lovely local restaurant.
Day 2 – Friday March 29
introduction to the art of weaving and Moroccan carpet heritage…
Wake up for a Maison 28 breakfast, followed by an introduction to the weaving course and techniques with Asmaa. Then we’ll head out for a guided Medina Artisan tour. After our group lunch we’ll get an introduction to the the various styles and weaving techniques of the famous tribal carpets and blankets of Morocco. Evening brings a cocktail & henna party on the roof terrace and dinner at Maison 28.
Day 3 – Saturday March 30
learn to weave-Moroccan style…
Maison 28 breakfast is followed by a day long dive into weaving on a loom and starting on your first project-a sampler of different techniques with Asmaa. Midday buffet lunch at Maison 28 and finishing up the day with a delicious dinner at one of our favorite local medina restaurants.
Day 4 – Sunday March 31
the creativity and discovery continues…
Enjoy a Maison 28 breakfast followed by an visit to the nearby Musee Boucharouite to motivate our weaving project for the day-a Boucharouite-inspired woven pillow cover. Midday buffet lunch at Maison 28 and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Day 5 – Monday April 1
casbahs and carpets…
After our Maison 28 breakfast we’ll begin our 2-day journey to discover historic Casbahs and venture to the heart of the Moroccan weaving culture in the Berber villages of the High Atlas Mountains. and end the day staying at a a lovely hotel within the Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate.
Day 6 – Tuesday April 2
weaving in cultural connections…
After breakfast we’ll begin our return to Marrakech with a long stop to enjoy an intimate and educational visit at a women’s weaving cooperative. After a traditional Berber lunch we’ll travel on to visit the restored Telouet Kasbah before we cross the famous Tizi n’ Tichka pass and weave our way back down to the valley of Marrakech for a light dinner at Maison 28.
Day 7 – Wednesday April 3
sourcing objects of desire…
Following a Maison 28 breakfast spend the morning sourcing goodies in the souks to incorporate into our afternoon weaving project. After a medina lunch together we’ll head back to the studio to create custom tassels and learn techniques for incorporating beads and other embellishments into our weaving projects. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Day 8 – Thursday April 4
leather and other fringe benefits…
Maison 28 breakfast. Our final special project this day will combine weaving and knotted leather fringe to create a fabulous custom purse or pouch. At night we’ll share a Tanjia dinner (slow-cooked Marrakech specialty!) at Maison 28.
Day 9 – Friday April 5
a garden getaway…
After breakfast will venture out to the “New City” Gueliz to visit the famous Jardin Majorelle and Yves St. Laurent Museum. After a tasty pizza lunch we’ll return to the Medina where you are free to enjoy the afternoon and evening as you wish.
Day 10- Saturday April 6
footloose and fancy free in Marrakech…
Enjoy breakfast and a whole day to indulge yourself. You can spend more time creating in the studio, finish up your shopping in the souks, or spend some time getting pampered with a hammam and massage at the local spa. Tonight we’ll celebrate our creative time together with a farewell dinner and live Gnaoua music at Maison 28.
Day 9 – Sunday April 7
beslama! time to go with your woven artwork and special memories…
Enjoy your last Maison 28 breakfast before your morning airport transfer for departure