Going back and forth between Athens and Cairo, Hana Salama, founder of Curated by Hana, shifted careers to follow her passion and create eco-friendly furniture pieces that are made with heart.
If 52 layers of organic teak wood – and at times recycled acrylic – are arranged to form a rather, abstracted figurehead as a form of art, then it must have some larger than life meaning behind it? Right? Well, for Egyptian visual artist Hana Salama – who disclosed to us her affinity for the fatal beauty of skulls – they just look pretty. What’s more important is what the art is made of: organic materials, recycled products, and an eco-friendly ethos.
“I started off with just one for my library but then it expanded into an entire collection made up of various natural eco-friendly materials,” Salama tells #SceneHome of ‘Skulls’, part of a wide range of furniture pieces that she designed through her brand Curated by Hana.
While studying communications in Athens, Salama opted to minor in visual arts, paving the way for her passion for furniture that was organic and put the spotlight on Egyptian artistry. “Every piece in your home should be one that you love,” Salama says. “Whenever I didn’t find an exact fit, I would curate my own rather than buying.”
Curated by Hana has collaborated with multiple designers and stores, with her elegantly hand carved mirrors sold on The Mob Collective, an e-commerce website, and her Aura-colored alabaster trays displayed at Noun Furniture. ‘Skulls’, meanwhile, are personalised in Athens through Xali Glyfada, a home décor store in Greece.
“At the beginning it used to only be about trays, tables and mirrors. Now, I am curating interior designs,” Salama explains. Her product designs evolved to match the interiors they will be surrounded with. “My intention was to create unique pieces that match many moods.” When she created her alabaster trays, Salama picked aural colours that are soothing to the eye, especially when placed in a crowded setting - whether they take after the colour of sand, or match the orange hues of the twilight sky.
“I try to be as organic as possible, even though it can be difficult sometimes,” Salama says. Aside from the recycled acrylic Salama uses for her ‘Skulls’, she relies on reclaimed wood when working on furniture pieces such as her marble-topped side tables with its wooden frame and screen, which light up using remote control. She also uses reclaimed wood for her hand carved mirrors, which are the only pieces that the artist artificially painted in yin-and-yang black and white. “I like to give everything a natural fluidity, to fit in the space and blend with nice dimensions,” Salama adds.
Although Salama yo-yos between Athens and Cairo, the Egyptian artist has been adamant in her approach on putting a spotlight on Egypt and the immaculate craftsmanship found in it. “All the pieces are handmade in Egypt, a collection of my wooden trays were centred around ancient Egypt,” Salama says, pointing at her design of the key of life, lotus flower and eye of Horus hieroglyphs that add a golden flair to her wooden trays.
“I’ve always been keen on putting the spotlight on the brilliant Egyptian artisans, who participate in making some of my pieces,” Salama continues. Curated by Hana is a visual artist’s personal project, one that is held very dearly as she clearly only creates pieces that fit her preferences and align with her ambition towards advocating for eco-friendly and organic materials, along with giving due credit to Egyptian craftsmanship.