As a woman from Saudi Arabia learning the craft of woodworking in America, I intend to embrace the opportunity to blend Arabic art and design with my knowledge of making furniture to create a body of work that is uniquely mine.
In my thesis, I created a body of work that helped me define my voice as an Arabic designer and maker. I have seen and researched Islamic art and graphic details such as Arabesque (عربسكي), which is an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines, and architectural details found in Mashrabiya (مشربية) arches, doors,..etc., and incorporated these aspects into my design language. The goal of each unique piece within this body of work is to address the design aspects above while allowing me to define my interpretation of the historical forms. Using the power of the line, incorporating contrast, rhythm, and repetition, and assigning traditional woodworking techniques in different ways offers me an appropriate balance of aesthetics and function for each piece.
During my journey to become a furniture designer and maker, I have enjoyed each step of the process, from the development of my design, to learning woodworking techniques, to building each piece with a high level of craftsmanship. I faced a lot of challenges with each piece I designed, however, each piece in the body of work has taught me something. I found myself learning from my own mistakes which allowed me to overcome whatever came next. Each piece has its own beauty and its own attraction. Each piece pushed me forward to make larger, more complex, work with increased confidence. All of these pieces helped me not only to define my voice as a designer and maker, but also to decide what I want to be.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Furniture design; Woodwork--Themes, motives; Art, Arab--Influence
Furniture Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CAD)
Bamashmous, Fatmah, "Compelling" (2018). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus