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One of a kind sand-cast pieces, hand crafted in Kuwait.
One of a kind sand-cast pieces, hand crafted in Kuwait.
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617 backers pledged £101,422 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Dual Bowls | Mixed Metal Castings project video thumbnail
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£101,422

617

Hello from Kuwait!

Instagram | Web | Press

Dual Bowls are irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind castings made with an unexpected combination of two metals. You could say they are affordable art pieces, as well as functional objects, using unique sand-casting methods developed with Alwafi Foundry in Kuwait. 

Sand-casting is a reproducible process with untapped potential. Working with this method, Dual Bowls can be customized in a variety of metals and finishes — giving you lots of choices, while still being easy for us to produce.

The moulds use sand from the neighbouring Nile River, requiring only the addition of water. While this method of using sand for casting was originally employed by craftsman to save on cost, its natural utility makes it sustainable and easy to recycle.

It also reveals the beauty of the casting process, and of the raw imperfections that are usually masked and removed in more modern casting methods. The act of pouring multiple metals into these moulds pushes the limits of the casting techniques. 

Pintu & Haneef
Pintu & Haneef

Above all this launch is a celebration of a community of craftsmen and designers in Kuwait. We’ve brought together a lot of talented people, from all walks of life. And this campaign demonstrates the strength that Kuwait’s society provides through sharing and supporting one another.

Product Options

3 metal colours | 3 casting methods | 3 sizes
3 metal colours | 3 casting methods | 3 sizes

Objects capture our stories and experiences. The enjoyment of your product is as important as the experience of making them. Attention has been put into every detail, and the casting methods and materials have been tested endlessly, and refined down to our favourite 3 metal colours, 3 casting options, in 3 sizes. 

3 METAL COLOURS

Red Copper | The highest value, rarest, and most temperamental metal. 

Yellow Brass | A common but high value alloy of copper and zinc. 

Silver Zinc | Pure zinc is too brittle, this is a composite of recycled zinc.

Silver Nickel | Liquid nickel adds a lustrous ting during electroplating. 

3 CASTING METHODS

PouringNatural & merged transition | Both metals are poured while molten into a single form. The most experimental method.

Cutting | Sharp & Locked Transition | The solid metal is cut and key'ed. The molten metal is poured on. Predictable and based on the craftsman's line.

Plating | Faded & Layered transition. | The base metal is half dipped in a liquid coating metal. A seamless, gradual shift in colour.

3 SIZES

30cm, 24cm, 14cm
30cm, 24cm, 14cm

We wanted to make everything locally, so we worked with the mould sizes in the metal spinning facility: Kuwait Aluminium Brass Industry.

POWDER COATING

Intercoat in Kuwait spent a couple of months specially formulating custom super-durable, matt powder coating. This is included in the price but you can choose to go without it.

Raw | Natural Patination over time. Darker and deeper, with oxidation. 

The beauty of the metal will be highlighted. However there will be subtle natural residue when you touch the piece, and we highly recommend you don’t put food in your bowl. 

Powder coated | Perseved and bright forever. Antibacterial and hygenic. 

While we cannot certify the bowls as food safe, due to the recycled metal, we can tell you the powder coating is antibacterial and uses an FDA approved formula.

Why do Dual Bowls matter? 

Dual Bowls are an active demonstration of process and experience. They give power back to those who deserve it the most. It has brought us joy to see that this work can make a difference to creators, who are used to being told their craft is too expensive and too slow.

Omer Sabir and his team
Omer Sabir and his team

History is filled with people who have used design to persevere against difficult circumstances. It can be challenging to express what day-to-day life is like in different parts of the Arab world, due to generalisations and stereotypes. Creatives are not only competing against these predefined ideas of a nations product culture, but also with a global network of established industries.

An expanded notion of product design can help elevate these different localities. By promoting this ethos the Saffar brand will be part of a growing conversation on the value of experience based culture and craft. Not just for Kuwait, but for every country and creative battling their own constraints.

Stretch Goals!

Click for Aseel's website!
Click for Aseel's website!

 

Signed Postcard, from Kuwait
Signed Postcard, from Kuwait

 

Digital P.L.U Book
Digital P.L.U Book

 

3cm Sandcast Aluminium Token from Saffar & Alwafi
3cm Sandcast Aluminium Token from Saffar & Alwafi

Rewards 

Outside the Bowl (Click for close up)
Outside the Bowl (Click for close up)

 

Aluminium & Brass (click for close up)
Aluminium & Brass (click for close up)

 

Soundscape of Souq Alsaffar, by Amin Fari (click for preview)
Soundscape of Souq Alsaffar, by Amin Fari (click for preview)

 

P.L.U Book, by Mariam Mandani
P.L.U Book, by Mariam Mandani

 

Intro Class, with Kawther, Mac or Amin
Intro Class, with Kawther, Mac or Amin

 

Saffar So Good prints, by Aseel Alyaqoub
Saffar So Good prints, by Aseel Alyaqoub

 

Small Dual Bowl
Small Dual Bowl

 

Medium Dual Bowl
Medium Dual Bowl

 

Large Dual Bowl
Large Dual Bowl

 

Statement Piece
Statement Piece

Specifications

There are a few more details!

You might be surprised to know how much Dual Bowls weigh.

Small | 1.0 - 1.5kg | 14.5cm diameter x 5.5cm height

Medium | 3.0 - 3.5kg | 24.3cm diameter x 7cm height 

Large | 5.5 - 7.0kg | 30cm diameter x 8.5cm height 

X Large | 21.5kg | 58cm diameter x 25cm height 

For the metals to adhere correctly, the thick surface area is necessary. We even worked with more advanced foundries, and they couldn’t achieve Alwafi's results. However that means you are getting more of your metals.

Add-ons! 

CUSTOM ENGRAVING

Each bowl is engraved with the company logo on the bottom. 

Add £6 to your pledge price, for custom engraving.

PACKAGING & BAG

Dual Bowls come packaged in protective sponge, nestled inside a manually made craft box, with a care tag and personalised edition card.

You can also add a silk-linen bag, made by Arshad Iqbal. The bag is crafted with a special closing mechanism. You can read his story in the P.L.U book. 

Add £5 Small, £7 Medium, £9 Large.

HOW TO ADD-ON

The diagram shows you what metals are the lowest price and how to add on price for copper options. You will be asked what casting methods and metals you would like during the customer survey, sent after the campaign.

Why Kickstarter?

As a small country it is sometimes difficult to grow demand, when there is a limited view of what products and craft are commercially worth. Dual Bowls are an unconventional product, especially for the Kuwaiti market, as they use semi valuable materials, that are unfamiliar to every consumer. The best way to demonstrate this value is on an international level, and through continued education on craft methods and their importance. 

The brand has been showcased in Nuqat, D3 in Dubai, Benchmark, and Milan Design Week, and these platforms have been used to bring as much awareness as possible to the craft culture in Kuwait. The next step is getting your support in promoting this idea and message.  

What can you do with Dual Bowls?

Some suggestions for how to use your Dual bowls!
Some suggestions for how to use your Dual bowls!

Health and Safety

The Saffar brand does not promote unsafe working methods. While we have partnered with Alwafi Foundry, trying to control how they work would be damaging to their process. The craftsmen in Kuwait work 11 hours a day and only have one day off a week and temperatures reach 50 celsius. 

While it may seem odd, their preferred method of safety is through heightened awareness, as the safety gear used in most modern foundries is prohibitive under their circumstances.

Team

Saffar is not a static group of creatives, its a celebration and promotion of diversity and personal strengths. This model better fits our modern way of working. For this project we have asked a small group of craftsmen, designers, and businesses to help, and showcase their work, but there’s lots more collaboration and work behind this brand.

Kawther Alsaffar is the principle and owner of Saffar. The Saffar brand first developed during her Industrial Design BFA at RISD in 2012, and has continued to form its collective identity till today.

How will we use the funds?

The foundry has finished over 27 final sample pieces, and hundred’s of functional prototypes. All the production sources have been established, and DHL shipping has been arranged. We went to the end’s of Kuwait to find you the most reliable and affordable workmanship. All thats left is the final phase of mould making, casting, packaging and shipping your orders.

Tajheezat Alhadeetha Carpentry
Tajheezat Alhadeetha Carpentry

The work doesn't stop there. The profit made from Dual Bowls will be used to establish the Saffar brand, by funding new collaborative projects, and renovating its potential home in the landmark historic carpentry built by Ahmed Albanna in 1957. This location has been greatly admired by many due to its natural utilitarian beauty, and historic resonance. 

Ahmed Albanna built many places of monumental importance, such as the Americani hospital, but has not been documented in history. Renovating locations like this carpentry can be costly and therefore neglected. However it is important to preserve and make use of these cultural gems for future generations, and thats where your help comes in! 

Timeline

We have studied this, and set realistic dates to avoid disappointment, and to cultivate the best product possible. We know these dates seem long, but we would we rather get you the best craftsmanship, and surprise you with early delivery then risk not meeting your expectations. 

  • April 18th - May 27th | Kickstarter campaign
  • June - July | Final mould making | Kuwait Aluminium Brass Industry
  • June - July | Follow up, small local rewards, planning execution.
  • June - July | Printing | 4 Films
  • July - September | Casting | Alwafi Foundry 
  • August - September | Box Making | Creative Packaging
  • August - September | Sponge Cutting | Albaghli
  • August - October | Polishing and Cleaning | Al Ibda'a Al Raqi Factory
  • August - October | Engraving | Neon Center 
  • August - October | Powdercoating | Intercoat
  • August - October | Bag Sowing | Arshad
  • November - December | Delivering Local Orders 
  • December - January | Shipping International Orders

Thank you! 

Amin Fari, Kawther Alsaffar, Aseel Alyaqoub
Amin Fari, Kawther Alsaffar, Aseel Alyaqoub

Thank you for believing in this initiative!

Biggest thanks go to Reda Farran for his design and supporting all his collaborators back home. We couldn't do this without you! 

A special thanks go to Naheda Albaqsami for the resource expertise, Mohamad Chehimi for the beautiful imagary, and Mariam Mandani for the graphics, and editorial. Its been quite the bonding experience with all of us coming together to contribute our respective skills at different times and we can't wait to celebrate with all of you.

Risks and challenges

There is no pretending this project is easy. Dual Bowls is on Kickstarter for the exact opposite reason. Making products in Kuwait is an uphill battle. Communication is difficult, work is slow, and prices are high compared to production versed countries.

However we believe designer’s should focus their energy where it matters. Tackling the locality of Kuwait matters, and we are more than prepared for the challenge. In fact this brand has been three and a half years in the making. The past two and a half have been an in-depth master’s studying Kuwaiti production limits, and the last year was dedicated to learning every detail of Kuwaiti sand-casting, and to developing Dual Bowls.

Despite the difficulties, we have been working really hard to bring Dual Bowls to its final production phase. We have made endless prototypes and tests to make sure this is completely feasible, and to educate everyone involved in the process, on how to make the best product possible for you.

The final phase is to make these art pieces an affordable reality. There’s a little more education to make sure the details of the moulds, hand finishing, and packaging are perfect, these things require a guarantee of quantity to incentivise production. Looking forward to bringing you a successful product! Thank you!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.25

    Thank you!

    You have our sincerest gratitude for supporting our initiative and being part of the community. We will keep you updated on our progress and future projects.

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    Pledge £3 or more About $4

    Digital Thank You Card

    Digital thank you card, in PDF format. Comes with edition number and named dedication. Designed by Reda Farran

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Souq Alsaffar Soundscape

    Limited edition sound-art download of the craftsmen in the historic Souq Alsaffar having a meal and discussing their work.

    Sound survey and composition by sound artist Amin Fari.

    Originally debued at Khaleej 2016 - D3 Dubai.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $38

    P.L.U Book

    Personal, Local, Universal, 104 page, A5 book with stories of people, the process and the product from Kuwait.

    Photography by Mohamad A. Chehimi, template design by Chourouk Zarkaoui, graphic design by Mariam Mandani, creative direction and editorial by Kawther Alsaffar, offset printing by Four Films.

    First 100 copies are hand signed by Kawther Alsaffar, Mariam Mandani, and Mohamad Chehimi.

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Pledge £56 or more About $70

    Small Dual Bowl - Super Early Bird

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £5 for bag
    £6 for engraving

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Pledge £71 or more About $89

    Small Dual Bowl - Early Bird

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £5 for bag
    £6 for engraving

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Pledge £86 or more About $108

    Small Dual Bowl - K.S Only

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £5 for bag
    £6 for engraving

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Pledge £86 or more About $108

    Small Dual Bowl - Aluminum & Brass

    Limited edition, cut, aluminium & brass.

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
    • Hand-sown bag
    • Custom engraving
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    Pledge £106 or more About $133

    Medium Dual Bowl - Super Early Bird

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £21 for copper
    £7 for bag
    £6 for engraving

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Pledge £133 or more About $167

    Medium Dual Bowl - Early Bird

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £29 for copper
    £7 for bag
    £6 for engraving

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Reward no longer available 60 backers
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    Pledge £135 or more About $169

    Saffar So Good Prints

    A couple of unframed, limited edition, single layer, screen prints comically illustrating the complex and multi-facted process of a product from the designer's perspective, and the designer's awkward encounters with the men in industrial Kuwait.

    Illustration and print by visual artist Aseel AlYaqoub.

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    Pledge £135 or more About $169

    Intro Classes

    Sand-casting | An introduction to do it yourself open face casting, taught by Kawther Alsaffar. The class will take place in the centre of Kuwait city, at the historic Tajheezat Al Hadeethah Carpentry. Be ready to get your hands dirty.

    Night Time Photography | Mohamad A. Chehimi will teach you the basics of night time studio photography in the industrial carpentry. You will need to bring your own camera, but lighting and equipment will be provided.

    Soundscaping | Amin Fari will be teaching the ropes of soundscaping, in the carpentry, or around Kuwait city based on participants request. You will also be introduced to different sound recording equipment and software, including Ableton. Bring a notebook, and cell phone with a mic and camera.

    Ramadan - TBD on participants request. Between June 4th - 12th - 10pm till 1am.
    Survey sent later.

    Only available in Kuwait.

    It will be possible to cancel if your plans change.

    You'll be able to specify what class you'd like to take by sending a kickstarter message or emailing, before placing your pledge. Classes are limited as follows:

    Kawther - 25
    Mac - 10
    Amin - 5

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    Pledge £159 or more About $199

    Large Dual Bowl - Super Early Bird

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £33 for copper
    £9 for bag
    £6 for engraving

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    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Pledge £160 or more About $201

    Medium Dual Bowl - K.S only

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £37 for copper
    £7 for bag
    £6 for engraving

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Pledge £160 or more About $201

    Medium Dual Bowl - Aluminium & Brass

    Limited edition, cut, aluminium & brass.

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
    • Hand-sown bag
    • Custom engraving
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    Pledge £160 or more About $201

    Outside The Bowl

    Cut - Brass & Aluminium hollow box.
    Dimensions | 25cm x 25cm x 3cm

    Add on
    Add it to a pledge for £120 - Shipping included.

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    Pledge £202 or more About $253

    Large Dual Bowl - Early Bird

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £42 for copper
    £9 for bag
    £6 for engraving

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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    Reward no longer available 40 backers
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    Pledge £245 or more About $307

    Large Dual Bowl - K.S Only

    Choice of 3 materials and 3 methods.

    Add Ons (see story)
    £51 for copper
    £9 for bag
    £6 for engraving

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge £245 or more About $307

    Large Dual Bowl - Aluminium & Brass

    Limited edition, cut, aluminium & brass

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
    • Hand-sown bag
    • Custom engraving
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    Pledge £1,900 or more About $2,383

    Statement Piece

    For Khaleej 2016, and D3 in Dubai, we managed to make a 60cm Dual Bowl. Its not an easy feat but the results were beautiful, and we will replicate this for you personally. The piece will be poured from the highest value metals copper and brass. You have our deepest gratitude for being part of our initiative.

    Includes:
    • Thank you card with edition number and dedication.
    • Soundscape Download
    • 2 signed postcards
    • P.L.U Book - hand signed by the team
    • Custom engraved copper dedication plate
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Funding period

- (40 days)