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Ambacht in Beeld Filmfestival Rotterdam 7 t/m 9 december 2020

masterclasses | Pearl inlay

Johnny Hilal - C&L Design - Zaterdag 29 september & Zondag 30 september
De Passage
3 uur
€ 75
Zaterdag 29 september
Zondag 30 september

Palestinians mastered the art of mother-of-pearl craft, and passed it on from one generation to the next. They produced beautiful crosses, frames, boxes, models of religious monuments and many other forms and shapes. The entire production process is based on designing, cutting, glueing and polishing. This is carried out in local workshops mostly in the Bethlehem area.


Johnny Hilal has over 50 years of craftsmanship experience in mother-of-pearl and wood works.


Participants will learn from him the skills to inlay mother-of-pearl on wood and other artworks.


The training sessions will be presenting the steps of inlaying mother-of-pearl on wood (olive wood), at the end of the training session each participant will gain the knowledge and skills about inlaying mother-of-pearl on wood, and will practice doing that on his/her own piece. During the workshop the master craftsman will give an introduction about what he will be doing to prepare the mother-of-pearl, and how it will be affixed on the wood. He will start with selecting the pieces of pearl, and explaining the various stages it passes through, and how it is processed.


A short video taken from his workshop will be shown during the workshop explaining all the steps. He will also be ready to answer any questions from participants. Material will be provided for each of the participants to make his/her own piece of work.


Minimum age: 18 years old



Johnny Hilal, craftsman

Johnny has over 50 years of craftsmanship experience in mother-of-pearl and wood works. Starting at the age of seven, he inherited his skills from his father and grandfather, as part of a long family tradition of the people in the Bethlehem area, and he became highly professional in his craft.


He did a lot of work for many European and local Palestinian organizations, and took part in several international workshops and festivals. He held the position of the head of union of craftsmen in the city of Beit Sahour. He has a degree in Land Surveying, but is currently dedicated to his crafts work, at his own workshop near Bethlehem, and is continuing his family tradition by passing on his skills to his children.


Among many hobbies, Johnny plays the piano and organ, and joined a musical band that uses Western instruments to play Eastern music.


C&L Design

C&L Design specializes in crafting beautiful purses and handbags that infuse traditional Palestinian embroidery and patterns with a contemporary touch.  C&L loves mixing up olive wood with mother-of-pearl, silk, velvet, pure leather, linen, and burlap, with embroidery and calligraphy designs.


“We design and produce our collections with our customers in mind at 

every stage of the production. We focus on both quality designs and fair 

prices to meet our customers’ needs and provide them with unique creations.”


C&L Design was established in October 2015 by the two sisters Carmen and Lina.


Lina is the co-founder of C&L Design for handbags and accessories. Along with her sister Carmen, C&L established a new line of handbags that is purely handmade and inspired by Palestinian heritage, nature and folklore. C&L Design was launched in 2015 in Ramallah.

Lina is specialized in designing, drawing, and selecting different forms of embroidery patterns, and silk threads colors for each a chosen bag design and size. Lina’s love of the Palestinian rich heritage art of embroidery inspired her to revive this art on handcrafted handbags and accessories. She had this passion for many years thinking of making her own brand which combines the Palestinian heritage art and culture, with the latest modern and trendy fashion for women. Carmen started C&L Design in 2015 with her sister Lina to pursue her vision of crafting handbags and accessories that infuse Palestinian traditions, spirit, and designs with a modern outlook. Her goal is to grow her business and expand it internationally by sharing her crafts and designs with women of all ages to enjoy. Prior to starting C&L Design, Carmen had no experience in crafting handbags. She worked on managing operations for NGO’s and various private and public organizations in Palestine.


Dit programma is tot stand gekomen In samenwerking met de gemeente Amsterdam en de gemeente Ramallah.


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