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Islamic calligraphy

I've been studying Islamic calligraphy for a while now. These intricate designs are generally not fully appreciated. They have adorned the walls of mosques for centuries and are stunningly beautiful. Although the origin is strongly tied to the chapters of the Qur'an, not all Islamic calligraphy is related to religion. It's importance is more about the written word. The Prophet Muhammad is related to have said: "The first thing God created was the pen." Shahadah, the Muslim declaration of faith and the first Pillar of Islam, is my favourite, when engraved in its calligraphy form. It is quite difficult to engrave because of the different direction the design takes. Much more complicated than the block letters of the English language. My first Shahada piece was on the head of a 2mm gold pin, then I engraved it 25 times smaller on a speck of gold that sits inside the eye of a needle. Every piece I produce is preceded by a large sketch which I keep in front of me while working. Once the sketch is completed, which is the easy bit - then the tricky work begins!


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