A space between science and art

Production tools and techniques include decoupage, mixed media, and upcycling, starting with customized frames and other decorative pieces. (Photos: Handout from Nahed Bourini)
Nahed Bourini discovered her passion for art alongside her 17 year-old daughter as she assisted her with school projects, designing models and posters as well as brainstorming ideas for how to make the creations stand out.  She was enthralled by the inspiring do-it-yourself process and began looking for new projects to create in her leisure time.اضافة اعلان

“My daughter was the one who sparked my interest in artistic pursuits,” said Bourini, the owner of Mixed Handmade Jordan.

  Bourini holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a Master’s degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Kuwait University. She was born and raised in Kuwait, and moved to Jordan after the Gulf War broke out in 1990.

 She combines her artistic creativity with her academic background in the biological and pharmaceutical sciences in what is dubbed as Anatomy Art; mimicking human organs in sculptures crafted through the use of different media. She also specializes in miniature art, turning any day-to-day setting like an office space or a doctor’s clinic into a minimized, fascinating piece of art.

 “To me, art is not just the expression of one’s creative skills, it is an outlet, a medium in which I can pour out my unexpressed emotions; an escape from the stress of daily life,” said Bourini.  To her, art is a powerful tool to access her deep potential by departing from the ordinary and zoning into a bubble of ‘art imitates life’. 

 Bourini said a variety of factors influence her designs; she has a passion for developing products that vary in style yet communicate the same joy to clients, and she is also attentive to customers’ demands.  She uses the internet to look at the wonderful work of fellow artists from across the world as a type of visual feed and perhaps even motivation, therefore widening her visual palette and finding inspirations for her design process.

 “Positive feedback encouraged me to start the Mixed Handmade Jordan Instagram page,” said Bourini, adding that customer requests peaked in March 2020, when she received orders for personalized graduation frames. That summer, graduation ceremonies were canceled due to the pandemic, and Bourini’s art went out as gifts to graduates, making up in some way for the missed special occasion.

  Her production tools and techniques include decoupage, mixed media, and upcycling, starting with customized frames and other decorative pieces. Apart from the shadow box frames that hold the artwork, materials that go into the production process consist of wood, cardboard, foam, air-dry clay, UV resin, beads, acrylic paints, and many more.

Mixed Handmade Jordan products have one thing in common; a 3D shadow box frame. However, the components of each frame highly differ from one another.  Depending on customer requests, Bourini recreates a miniature version of a setting or space that holds a special meaning to customers.

 “Oftentimes it is a coffee shop, a bakery, or even a bedroom. In addition to that, I also create frames with designs that correspond to the customer’s field of specialization or profession, for example, a miniature dental clinic that can be gifted to a dentist, a graphic designer’s office space, or a medical student’s study space,” and according to each customer, she adds details to the frame to make it even more personal, she said. 

One of the main limitations that Bourini faces in spreading her art beyond the borders of Jordan is her inability to find suitable and affordable shipping companies to deliver her products abroad.  “I get requests for orders from the Gulf Region as well as Southeast Asia but the shipping fees discourage customers from placing their desired orders,” she said.

Bourini operates from the comfort of her home, where she has a designated area for all her items and materials, and sells her products online.  She relies mostly on word of mouth to attract new fans, which has proven effective and helped to generate a network of loyal, regular customers.

 Instagram has also served as a promotional and marketing tool for Bourini, who said that she makes sure to keep her page updated with new items and new creations at all times.  She has an edge in her artistic medium, as Mixed Handmade Jordan specializes in a relatively new field of art that isn’t broadly known in the region yet.  Even if it wasn’t a relatively new form of art, said Bourini, “each artist has a unique gift and essence that manifest in the product.”

 “The best advice I could give to young artists is to never delay or put off pursuing your passion; don’t wait around for someone to teach you what you need to know about a new field of interest, go learn about it yourself, and have fun doing it,” Bourini concluded.

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