These are not your run-of-the-mill dream catchers.
"The concept of a dream catcher is that it traps both good and bad dreams. The good dreams manage to find their way out and escape the threads because they're light and soft. Nightmares, however, end up getting trapped and die with the first ray of light," says Abdelrahman Atef, founder of Dream Away, an Instagram account that sells unique dream catchers in an eclectic range of quirky designs.
While today dream catchers are used mainly for decorative purposes, there was once a time when they held a deeper meaning to those who owned them. Originating from Native American culture, dream catchers would be hung over infant cribs as a talisman for protection, while others used them to ward off nightmares. It was this mysticism surrounding dream catchers that first caught the attention of Atef and it inspired him to start creating intricate designs.
“It was when I first saw dream catchers in Nuweiba that I fell in love with the concept and with the aesthetic,” Atef tells CairoScene. “I wanted to offer something different, though, when I started making them so I used real feathers instead of synthetic feathers, to kind of honour the dream catcher's spiritual nature.”
Atef, who’d begun making dream catchers in 2015 as a hobby, started selling them a few years later after receiving positive feedback from his family and friends. Having designed two completely original pieces, the Pink Floyd Dream Catcher and the Boho Dream Catcher, Atef loves working with his hands and his interest in making dream catchers stemmed from this urge to create and build something out of nothing.
“With handmade products, you basically put together these elements, that otherwise mean nothing on their own,” he explains. “I don’t sketch my designs, though. Inspiration usually strikes when I'm just sitting there listening to music. That's when I start envisioning what I want to create and get to it.”
Check out more of the designs here.