House of Traditional Arts (HTA) is a collaboration between Art Jameel and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London. It teaches and is simultaneously trying to preserve the methods and skills of local arts and crafts while gaining inspiration from Al Balad. Since September, they have been offering free short courses to the public.
Some of the foundational concepts of traditional art include geometry, pattern and symmetry. HTA aims to establish a community of cultural understanding so that knowledge about traditional arts and crafts can spread. Courses are taught by tutors from the london-based The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts’s , a local team of PSTA alumni and local masters.
The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts originated as a department at the Royal College of Art. The School’s courses emphasize the importance of integrating the theoretical study of the traditional arts with their practical applications.
This year, HTA is announcing a year long diploma with modules covering traditional and Islamic art; the diploma will be combining traditional arts with the contemporary.
Main modules covered through short courses:
- Introduction to the Art of Mangour: Geometry and Craft
“Mangour” is an Arabic architectural element made of wooden lattice work. When crafted, the Mangour creates a net-like pattern between spaces. The beauty behind this architectural element is separation without isolation. The Mangour manifest itself in the Roshan, as an integral feature of Hejazi architecture, which can be seen commonly in Al Balad, the old town of Jeddah.
- The language of Nabati: Design and compositions
This module focuses on the formal Ottoman tradition of Islimi (lines, design and colour techniques) and moves onto the exploration of patterns and designs found in the Old City of Jeddah.
- Introduction to Geometry and Gypsum Carving / Islamic patterns
Gain a solid understanding of the key principles that underlie the language of traditional Islamic geometry. Build a portfolio of beautiful patterns that unfold through the drawing of proportionally related circles, by using a compass and a ruler to accomplish drawings of various degrees of complexity. Patterns are explored further through color composition. Through practical learning; experience geometry as a contemplative discipline that nourishes the arts.
- Introduction to Decorative Painting Techniques
This 4-week workshop delves into the profound beauty inherent in color by finding out all about its symbolic meaning and making paints from pure pigments according to traditional methods.
- Geometry module
- Ceramics module
- Nabati module
- Methods and materials
- Color studies module
- Gypsum module
- Design module
Find out more about the courses and programs offered by emailing: