Visiting Glassblower, Pottery and Kufiyah Factories in Hebron : Yesterday we at the Excellence Center took some of our current volunteers along with some newly arrived ones to a couple of well-known local artisans and their workshops. First we took them to a local glassblower and pottery makers. Hebron is famous for our glassblowing and pottery.
It was so amazing to get to see the process of making these beautiful glass objects. One of our volunteers tells us, “I was not completely clear on where we were going so when we arrived at the glassblowers I was so excited, knowing how well-known Hebron is for this art.” She continues, “seeing the hot glass, glowing red, was just mesmerizing, I could have stayed all day just watching these men blow the glass.” Another volunteer said, “it was such a cool experience watching them blow the glass and then getting to go right into the store where they sell their finished products. They had every possible thing one could make from glass, from glass cups and bowls to beads and other beautiful creations.” A third volunteer from the United States told us, “going right from the artisans workshop and into their store is an experience you never get in America. You never get to see the product being made locally and go directly to the sale of these products.”
After watching the glassblowers we took our volunteers into the back room where the workers were meticulously painting pottery objects prior to putting them in the kiln. “The detail with which these men were paining their objects was incredible” says one volunteer. Another tells us, “they had one stack of pre-painted bowls, a pile of finished ones and then the one in front of them that they were working with. It was great to see this process.” The finished pottery objects were also available for purchase in the store within the workshop. Says one volunteer, “it was great, we all got to buy our friends and family gifts and we have the pictures to show them right where they were made”
Next we took our volunteers to the Kufiyah factory. Kufiyah are the famous checkered scarves seen across the Middle East, and within Palestine, especially the black and white ones. We entered the factory to the whirring sounds of the machines. Says one volunteer, “as soon as you walk in you can hear the machines working, there is a large room just full of them, with every color of thread, from the familiar red and white, black and white and then so many beautiful multi-colored ones.” The volunteers told us how surprised they were at how welcoming the men who worked in the factory were to us, “they let us walk all around the machines and take pictures, we also got to go look at their huge stock of thread.” Volunteers once again took the opportunity to purchase gifts and scarfs for themselves right from the factory.
Taking our volunteers to important sights and interesting places within the city of Hebron is very important to us at the Excellence Center. We love it when our volunteers get to travel outside the city but we also feel it our duty to show them around the city of Hebron as there are many interesting things to see here as well.