Nothing stops you in your tracks while wandering in and around Marrakech like this sight: a man turning wood with nothing more than a sharp blade and his feet! Yes, you may wince a bit looking at these pictures. We certainly did.
Moroccan woodturners are pros, though. And with skilled hands and strategic balance, they seem to be quite productive even with tourists looking on.
Take this guy, for example. He places the wood on a pole, lays a knife on top, and spins a little make-shift lathe with — you’re seeing it correctly — only a foot or two! We watched. We clapped. And then we purchased freshly turned pieces of an art you don’t see often, if at all, in the U. S.
Later in Fes, we happened upon this workman who — everyday, no less — sits in this little box-like space in the medina and shapes combs out of natural bone. He, too, uses his feet to steady the piece of bone.
He carefully presses his foot against a large piece of bone while he cuts shapes such as whales, ducks, birds, etc. to top off his combs.
In Morocco, most craftsmen we met or acknowledged with a head nod absolutely, positively didn’t want their picture taken. But the comb maker seemed genuinely enthralled when our guide asked if I could pose with him. So, here’s one of the happiest people I met in Morocco — a man who goes every day to his workplace, sits in what seems to me to be a cramped space and cranks out the finest examples of bone combs in creative shapes. A fine memory, for sure.
And to see pictures of our journey, head to Flickr to take in the sights of this colorful country.
Thanks for traveling with us,
Bert and Rusha Sams