I decided that it’s time to start a new series on the blog! Recently, I have been looking for and following people who have some kind of superpower. In my quest to look for these superhumans, I realized that I am being more inclined towards people who are crafters. Now, I am not a crafter myself but I am definitely a sucker for anything that looks pretty, is neatly created from scratch and literally shouts the words “Made with Love”.
So I decided to share my latest craft inspirations along with their crafters for you to check out. (Hence the cheesy name “Craftspiration”) 😀 Each month, I will interview and feature one artist/craftsman/craftswoman/superhuman and introduce you guys to him/her. Without further adieu, let’s dive straight into this month’s feature!
The Home Canvas by Saima Ausaf
I hope you remember that time when I re-purposed a men’s kurta and did some embroidery on it? Well, that and all my embroidery projects have been inspired by this lady, Saima Ausaf! Saima is a UAE based Pakistani crafter who also happens to have an educational background in Food and Nutrition. She has an incredible command over her craft and everything that she creates turns out so pretty, I always have hearts in my eyes for her work.
Q. Hey there! Hope you’re doing good. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Saima: Hi. My name is Saima. I was born and brought up in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. A couple of years after getting married, I moved to Dubai and have been living in this amazing city for the past 18 years.
Q. What’s your educational background? How did you choose this field? Did you have any other plans initially or you always wanted to do this?
Saima: Well, I did my schooling from PECHS Girls’ School in Karachi and then moved on to to do my B.Sc (in Food and Nutrition) from the College of Home Economics. I wanted to do my Masters in Food and Nutrition but right after graduation I got married, moved to Dubai and got busy with my domestic life 🙂
Q. Ah, yes, life must have kept you quite busy 🙂 Your craft work is absolutely neat and aesthetic! Did you get formal training for it or did you just start it as a hobby?
Saima: Thank you so much for appreciating my work! This initially started as a hobby as I was always interested in drawing and painting. Then I got an opportunity to learn Mosaic, Decoupage and Pottery making in Dubai.
Q. That sounds like a lot of fun! I am pretty sure I know about the other two but what is decoupage and where did you learn this technique?
Saima: Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by cutting and pasting any paper cutouts on a wooden, metallic or glass surface. It is then sealed with a sealant and varnish (often a couple of coats) till the ‘stuck on’ appearance is lost and the result looks more like a painting. I learnt this art at the Dubai Intrnational Art Center (DIAC) in Dubai.
Q. Brilliant. Your Instagram feed is absolutely lovely. Who takes these awesome photos?
Saima: Oh thank you once again for being so appreciative of my work. It is me, myself behind the camera 😀
Q. So tell us a bit about your idea behind The Home Canvas?
Saima: The Home Canvas is basically a reflection of my home or rather whatever I do at home pursing my hobbies. My home is like a canvas to me where I like to add colors through the art of mosaic, decoupage, hand painted wall art, embroidery etc. The Home Canvas is a platform where I compile all my artwork and now share with other people who follow me.
Q. Sounds really cosy and comfy to me! Are you planning to have a shop for your products?
Saima: Well having a shop will mean that I will have to mass produce the artwork I do. I believe when you mass produce such things, it takes the spirit out of the craft and it starts to feel like mechanical work. So in short, at present I do not have plans to open a shop as I do it as a hobby but I am always open to take any work on order.
Q. What would you suggest to anyone who wishes to learn art and craft? Do you know of any courses or classes people can get in Pakistan or UAE?
Saima: Well I think anyone who has inclination towards art and crafts should definitely follow his/her passion. Being observant of one’s surroundings like different color combinations, textures and patterns definitely helps in bringing out those artistic skills from within.
In Dubai we have art centers like DIAC and DUCTAC where a lot of art courses are offered, but I am not sure about Pakistan.
Q. Wonderful suggestions. One last question: What have you learnt from your work?
Saima: To be very honest my work has really taught me to set my priorities in life and manage time efficiently. Since it all started as a hobby many years ago when my son was a toddler, managing housework and pursuing my hobbies definitely required efficient time management without having a negative impact on my routine life. So I believe my work has brought more order in my life.
Q) Well, that’s about it! Saima, I am so glad you could take some time out to answer all these questions. It was a pleasure knowing about you and your craft! 🙂
Saima: It was a pleasure talking to you, Tasmiyah, in fact I am thankful to you for being so appreciative of my work and for interviewing me!
If you’re a budding crafter and you want to be featured in my monthly craftspiration posts, then get in touch with me through email. If I find your work giving me hearts in my eyes, then I would love to do a story on you too!
P.S. All photos in this post belong to The Home Canvas. Any unsolicited use of these photos would result in you answering to Allah miyan on judgement day.