Gezazy: Fun, Handmade Home Accessories in Maadi
Ahmed El Dahan
As a result of mass production, few shops in Cairo delve into the joys of handcraft labours. Carpentry and metal work were once common hobbies; nowadays it’s a rarity to see a city dweller employ their hands to such forgotten crafts.
However, there is a thriving industry hidden in the city that seeks to provide simple, creative, handcrafted products.
Starting out in Marsa Allam – at the Deep Sea Eco Lodge – Gezazy specialise in home accessories and decorations made from empty glass bottles. When the tourism industry began to falter following the January 25th Revolution, the owners relocated to a workshop in the Fustat region, and a classy showroom on Street 250 in Maadi.
Entering the showroom is like taking a step into the mind of creative genius; the inspirational vibe of the shop feels like a museum of idiosyncratic fun. Apart from the kiosk made of glass and wood, the majority of décor and furniture is made of reused materials; there’s a wood pallet walkway filled with lit-up green glass bottle bottoms, as well as tables made from wooden spools and glass bottle plant pots. All the lighting in the showroom, from lamps to chandeliers, is made from repurposed liquor and wine bottles.
Since their products are highly open to customisation, prices vary case by case; but on average, simple candle holders – made using half a glass bottle and attaching a wooden base for the candle – cost 75LE and when altered, fluctuate to 100LE upwards. The glass is customised primarily through frosting.
Taking into account the addition of a light bulb socket and switch, their lamps start at 125LE. Classical and modern chandeliers are also available for prices starting at 300LE; however, these are especially open to customisation and can reach prices as high as 3000LE. One particular example that caught our eye was a collection of Smirnoff bottles, hung from a wooden plank attached to the ceiling (300LE/meter).
Gezazy also support peers in their field by selling their products at the showroom. Here, expect to find suitcase and tyre seats made by Reshakel, along with the intriguing line from Am Ezzat – a man who makes eccentric motorcycle and car models out of everyday objects including cutlery, soda cans and tear gas canisters. Also sold are the products of Mohamed Atef, who creates robot-shaped lamps out of pipes and other metal junk that would leave Cairo’s geeks smiling. With the exception of B2eedy’s wooden and textile products made in the Saeed region of Akhmim, everything at Gezazy is created from recycled, pre-used items.
Gezazy offers creative, revamped items at moderate prices, bringing unique, hand-made, environmentally friendly products to the market.