Chanelle Tourish gets a glimpse of the inspiration and creative process behind sisters Salmeh and Sarah Moravvej’s Swarovski-studded collection
Diamonds (or crystals in the case of sister’s Salmeh and Sarah Moravvej) are a girl’s best friend. Inspired by their love of fine jewellery, photography and paintings, the pair founded Dubai company MSS Art, an interior design firm that specialises in creating unique, contemporary 3D art forms and paintings that are studded with Swarovski stones and pearls. Not quite your average Ikea painting then.
Unique to Dubai, the sisters create custom-made designs using photographs and large canvases. They can produce images for weddings as well as portraits, but these don’t come cheap. Prices range from US$2,800 (Dhs10,284) to US$20,000 (Dhs73,457) and works come in various sizes depending on the photos chosen and the amount and size of the crystals used.
“We have a commercial partnership contract with Swarovski, which means every piece of our artwork has a specific Swarovski-certified serial number,” says co-fouder Salmeh.
The sisters, who worked as professional photographers in Iran before moving to Dubai, both studied graphic design before founding MSS Art in 1999. Their experience has diversified the design process. “For this collection we have used digital images from online, and we often modify and cut sections of the original photo to create our pieces. However, we are going to use our own models and create our own photos based on our creations in our next collection,” says Salmeh.
From US$2,800 (Dhs10,284). All works shown are available online for purchase. www.mssart.com.
Swarovski Art collection Creating the works
“We start by printing a photo onto a large canvas before painting,” Salmeh Moravvej says. “We then add details once the paint is dry, and then design and work with Swarovski stones.”
“Our love of painting and jewellery inspired us to explore the possibility of creating high-class paintings. We look for something that can capture beauty and stands out.”
“It can take up to two weeks of work before the job is completed, from getting the print onto the canvas until the artwork is ready. Some of our more time-consuming arts have taken up to three weeks.”