About this project
Hello from Kuwait!
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.
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.
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
Pouring | Natural & 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.
We wanted to make everything locally, so we worked with the mould sizes in the metal spinning facility: Kuwait Aluminium Brass Industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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 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!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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