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Zellij Gallery Brings To Life The Ancient Traditions Of Moroccan Tile Making And Design

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Here is our recent interview with Faissel Farhi, Owner of Zellij Gallery:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Zellij Gallery?

A: Zellij Gallery are masters of Zellij craftsmanship, with 105 years of experience working with this craft, they bring to life the ancient traditions of Moroccan tile making and design.

The family business was established in 1912 by Maallem and master craftsman Solomon Farhi. Maallems, or Zellij artisans, have been trained in the complexities of design and craftsmanship of Moroccan tiles for thousands of years.

In 1948, the Farhi’s son, Miloud Farhi began the journey of learning the Maallem craft from his father. He joined the Cooperative of Maallems Zelligeurs de Fez, in 1982 after his father passed away. This cooperative of master craftsmen successfully completed many international projects and won several awards. From Royal Palaces in Morocco, Europe and the Middle East to Disney World’s EPCOT Center in Orlando, Florida.

In 1990, Faissel Farhi, began to walk in his father Miloud’s footsteps, learning the Maallem craft and the business. With his Moroccan heritage combined with an American education, Faissel later became the link that brought the art of Zellij to the United States.

The third generation Farhi, developed considerable expertise in design which led to many collaborations with some of the world’s best architects and design firms. Family remains at the heart of the business today, with Faissel and Miloud at the helm, working actively to always exceed client expectations across the globe.

All Zellij Gallery Moroccan tiles are handmade in our factory in Fez, Morocco, by an expert team of experienced Maallems. The creation of all of our tiles is a labor intensive and complex process. However, these master craftsmen are supported by a team of specialists who assist in each part of the process.

At Zellij Gallery, we take great pride in the role we play in representing the art and ancient traditions of Morocco worldwide. Moroccan tile can breathe new life into any home renovation or new build project. It is our absolute joy to assist people just like you to transform your home with the magic of Morocco.

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Q: Tell us more about your products. What makes them unique?

A: Zellij is an ancient handmade craft that dates back to the 12th century. It is deeply rooted into Moorish architecture and we at Zellij Gallery are doing our best to keep it vibrant by preserving the same methods and techniques which have been used throughout history.

Q: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

A: We care about this art so much that we want it represented in other architectures beside mediterranean. When the proper motifs and colors, Zellij gives an identity to any space, especially the modern contemporary styles.

In addition to our extensive experience with this historic handmade craft, we have also implemented new technologies such as the color-tool. This web-base technology allows our clients to mix different colors and customize their own mosaic before the product is even made.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome it?

A: With the gift of the internet, this art work has been recently gaining more popularity by the day. With that being said, there are new companies that are taking advantage of this niche by mass producing the moroccan motifs on cheap materials from China and calling it Moroccan Zellij tile. The best we can do to combat this issue is to keep educating the public.

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Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: We plan on investing more in the public education of this craft. We also plan on inviting more technologies to make this craft easier to work with.

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