Rimal – More than Just a Touch of Glass

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Inspired by the exuberant foliage of handicrafts, the enchanting Arabic calligraphy, and the glowing charm of copper, silver and gold, Rimal introduced a new angle of tableware art by presenting a tasteful combination of colored Egyptian handmade glass embellished with copper holders; mirroring the Egyptian culture, proverbs, beliefs and its Bedouin roots in sleek and eccentric contemporary designs. Reem Mansour is the founder of Rimal, an AUC graduate, with a Master in International Development. During university she always wanted to start her own business yet was never sure what that really should be about.

 

Mansour founded Rimal in 2004 based on intensive research and a passion for art. Her creations were exhibited at different high end galleries and stores.

 

Since early childhood Mansour was surrounded by art through her family’s cultural interest in galleries, exhibitions and ballet. Part of her artistic sensibility would help her a lot in creating her stunning designs later on. Mansour fell in love with this kind of art with her love for Azza Fahmy’s jewelry designs that drew her attention on the beauty and richness of the Egyptian culture and heritage. “It all started for me when Azza Fahmy introduced the “Sufi Line” using local quotes and proverbs in her designs”, Reem explains. Another key influence were the visits to Khan El Khalili accompanying a friend on her postgraduate studies, where she was exposed to the authentic Egyptian style in various forms.

 

Rimal is a way to find back to the roots of an authentic artistic identity that reflects Egypt in a highly skilled craftsmanship and exquisite taste opposing the image of sloppy Egyptian made products. Her first clients were family members who encouraged Mansour to take it a step further and pursue her dream on a bigger scale. Soon her stunning glasswork made its way to reputable galleries and to the homes of avant-garde tableware connoisseurs. Her clientele is very selective and most of them are art lovers and collectors from Arab countries, Europe and Egypt.

 

The concept of Rimal emerged from the ancient Egyptian glass that just cast a spell on her. The name Rimal stems from the word sand which is used in glass making. “The natural colors of glass (green or bluish green) were caused by naturally occurring iron impurities in the sand’. Afterwards different dazzling hues were created. The color blue has always held special significance in Egyptian culture, and it is used extensively in Rimal’s classic and seasonal collections. Adding to its uniqueness every piece has Rimal’s logo engraved to make sure it is an original piece of Rimal”, Reem explains.

 

 

She designs coffee and tea holders as well as table glass sets of different shapes and colors. There are different seasonal editions like the New Year candle holders that consist of feathers, diamonds and copper and have “Al-Qahera 2009” written on it in Arabic. She also uses bright colored copper holders with “Al Saada”, “Al Hob” and “Al Seha” printed on as gifts for special occasions like Valentine’s and “Get Well Soon”, for instance. Every glass set consists of 6- 12 pieces consisting of different colors and shapes. “People could never imagine the time and effort used on each piece of glass”, Reem adds enthusiastically.

 

As part of her expansion she hopes to achieve equivalent success abroad with her collection. A home accessories collection is another line under Rimal in partnership with a very talented artist named Tarek Wagih. The home accessories line combines very high quality wood with copper work creating candle holders, vases and lamps. It’s a combination of authentic and contemporary concepts together in every design.

 

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