Tara Stevens, Condé Nast Traveler USA, June 4, 2021

Meet the Makers Combining Marrakech's Artisanal Past with Modern Design

A new set of creators are tapping into Marrakech's craft heritage to give the city even greater influence on the global stage.



Belgian-born Laurence Leenaert is well-established in the contemporary Moroccan design vernacular through her label LRNCE, which creates ceramics decorated in bold, fluid geometric patterns that can be spotted at hotels from Menorca Experimental to Parilio on the Greek island of Paros. But with a new collection of paintings, Leenaert is exploring another discipline.


Her space in Sidi Ghanem, an industrial quarter of the city, opened at the start of 2020, flows over two floors and a rooftop that serves as a studio, showroom, and events hub where clients can view works like her Sound of Sun series—an interpretation of life in Marrakech. “My framed works begin as sketches for rugs and blankets,” Leenaert says. “I'm always drawing lines, or cutting things out, or adding elements, based on what I see around me.” She created her latest ceramics with master craftsmen from Safi who are known for their pottery. The addition of textural grooves means they take three times as long to make as her hand-painted line, but the approach adds a unique, sculptural element to each piece that is worthy of the term art. 

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