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Welcome


I am a calligrapher and craftsman currently living in Washington, DC. I work primarily in the Arabic script, but also occasionally do work in Hebrew, Latin, and Devanagari scripts as well. I recently completed graduate work at Indiana University’s Central Eurasian Studies Department.  My focus was on Uzbek and Dari/Farsi languages, with a focus on the poetry of revolution. Before Indiana, I lived briefly in Chicago, and before that Sana’a, Yemen. I currently study calligraphy under Mohamed Zakariya Hoca.

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Welcome


I am a calligrapher and craftsman currently living in Washington, DC. I work primarily in the Arabic script, but also occasionally do work in Hebrew, Latin, and Devanagari scripts as well. I recently completed graduate work at Indiana University’s Central Eurasian Studies Department.  My focus was on Uzbek and Dari/Farsi languages, with a focus on the poetry of revolution. Before Indiana, I lived briefly in Chicago, and before that Sana’a, Yemen. I currently study calligraphy under Mohamed Zakariya Hoca.

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Woodwork


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Woodwork


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Calligraphy


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Calligraphy


When I create a piece of calligraphy, I try to be responsible for every aspect of the equation.


This often starts with hand-making the paper. I like mulberry, but I occasionally also use cotton, hemp, and flax fibers. Sometimes I add inclusions like the bark from a special tree, shards of newspaper from a specific city, or grass from a region of the world.


To get handmade paper ready for calligraphy, there is a lengthy process of preparation. It begins with dyeing the paper.


The papers are then starched with boiled wheat starch, alum, and fish glue and finally treated with an egg-based coating called ahar. 

Finally the papers are burnished with agate until they are at a state where they can accept the ink. The process takes many hours per sheet and is the traditional way of preparing paper for Islamic calligraphy that goes back more than a millennium.


I then compose the calligraphy.  While I use many styles of contemporary calligraphy in my graphic design work, I only use traditional calligraphy in my original pieces.


I then border the piece with decorative marbled paper, made from my own handmade paints that I float on a thickened water.