A VARIETY of interesting workshops are in store for art enthusiasts this month at Al Jasra Crafts Training Centre.
A Boat Making Workshop will teach participants how to identify the different types of wood used for manufacturing model ships, how to chop wood to create ship models, how to mould the ship’s accessories as well as how to draw and carve a piece of wood and sand it.
Shipbuilding is a popular traditional industry that Bahrain has been known for since ancient times, one that Bahrainis have excelled in and left visible marks.
The various kinds of ships that have been used for the purposes of fishing, diving, pearling as well as passenger and cargo transportation include Al-banush (dhow), Abloom, Albaghlah and others.
The ancient art of pottery is another industry that the kingdom is well-known for, with archaeological research indicating its spread for thousands of years, due to the availability of materials locally.
The Pottery on the Wheel workshop will cover such topics as the types of clay and the tools used in shaping, the methods of clay wedging and kneading and how to shape and sculpt wheel potter clay.
Fabric weaving has deep roots in the history of Bahrain and has been known to be passed on from generation to generation.
The textile industry was widespread in certain villages such as Abu Saybi, Dar Kulayb and Makabah.
The industry has since been restricted to Bani Jamrah village, which in the past has hosted close to a hundred factories that employed almost all residents of the village.
These factories were nothing but modest huts of palm fronds where the weaver and his family members would seek refuge from the heat of the sun.
The village was a bustling market which people frequented to purchase their requirements and fabric was even exported to various other regions in the Gulf.
The Weaving Workshop will teach participants about the types of threads used for weaving textile, how to use a weaving textile machine and teach them how to make a model piece of fabric cloth.
An Arabic Calligraphy Workshop (Second Level) will introduce participants to the history of Arabic calligraphy, the main types of fonts and its importance as an artform.
They will also learn about the tools used and how to employ them.
During the Traditional Chests Making Workshop, participants will learn to identify the types of wood used for manufacturing traditional chests, how to chop wood to create the boxes and how to mould traditional accessories.
Wooden chests or boxes, still used in most Arab Gulf countries as decorative element in many houses, are traditional chests known as Sanadeeg Mubayata, that serve as storage for clothing and personal items.
Its appearance is distinguished by nail heads hammered into various decorative fashions.
These chests are made out of real wood and are often used to present the bride with her trousseau.
Mubayet chests are made of wood and are mostly used to keep and store clothes, gold jewellery and other valuable acquisitions, including money, official documents and papers.
These boxes are equipped with sturdy locks to guard against loss or theft of their contents.
They are also characterised by their heavy weight that make it impossible to easily relocate them.
They stand on four wooden cylinder-shaped pillars which isolate the floor from the bottom of the chest to protect it from the humidity of the floor.
Besides the inbuilt chest that is characterised by excessive decorations and large size, there are other types of chests, such as the Al-Ghatam box with minimal decorations and motifs.
It comes with a smooth surface and is used to store kitchen utensils, foodstuffs and clothes.
Another is the Buhubal box which is wrapped in tough ropes and is used for travel, in addition to the Al-Bishtakhta, a small box usually used by boat captains and divers for keeping and sorting pearls by size and quality.
It is also used to store official documents and papers.
The Gypsum Engravings Workshop will teach participants how to produce engravings on gypsum, how to identify the types and names of decorations as well as how to use the tools.
Bahrain has long been known for its aesthetic architecture, in which its technicians and craftsmen have created a spirit of authentic Bahraini character.
One of the most beautiful features of this architecture is the gypsum inscriptions that cover houses, especially those owned by well-known families in Bahrain, which still exist in large cities such as Muharraq and Manama.
These artistic creations are one of the most important features of traditional architecture in Bahrain, especially given its accuracy, elegance and strength, which reflect the creativity and imagination of Bahraini craftsman.
Simple tools such as homemade knives as well as rulers, quills and other tools were used to help artisans create the various inscriptions placed in different murals, window frames, arches and other parts of the old house.
All workshops are being organised by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities and are open to people aged 18 years and above.
Each workshop will be held from 10am to 12 noon, on Saturdays during the month.
For more information, visit culture.gov.bh