Doaa Refaat, a metal artist and PhD researcher, changed her career after leaving teaching profession as a university lecturer to work in metal casting, turning figures into costumes. She was interviewed by SEE about her start up and reasons for switching her career.
Q: What are you doing in the Ministry of Culture?
A: I was appointed to the ministry in 2014, and now I’m working as a plastic technician and a culture coordinator.
Q: How did you start your idea “Free Metal Workshop?”
A: I made a structural study of the workshop, I presented it to art sector and then they approved my pilot study. I chose 2 female students to participate in the free metal workshop.
This workshop was specialized in metal formation and lasted for 6 months. I considered it as an experimental workshop and soon I will start the second experimental workshop for another 6 months under the supervision of the fine arts sector.
A: The culture ministry provides this workshop for free, and to be honest these workshops are very expensive as one workshop costs thousands of pounds. I can remember when I was a student in 1998; one simple workshop for a foreign artist costed 10 thousands L.E for a month and half.
Q: What about your major job?
A: I’m ending my work at cinema civilization to focus on my work on metals formation. I couldn’t do that without the help of my heads and mangers.
Q: What are your strangest ideas in metal formation?
A: I like to think out of the box before starting in a new work; for example I made many art pieces that depended on sign language, numbers science and different languages including ancient languages. I also made scientific videos about metal science in order to share metal science education.
Q: What about your own ambitions?
A: For years, I worked with the most famous customs designer in Egypt Azza Fahmy. I discontinued working with her because my designs were under her name. Now I’m preparing for my own projects different from what is existed in the costumes square.
Q: How can you describe costumes market now in Egypt?
A: The costumes market is divided into 3 departments; the least influential is the academic department of metal formation. The most famous department where the small metal pieces were collected to form large pieces.
The last department is the industrial section but this section faces many barriers because of incurring losses and lack of materials.
Contributed by: Menna Seliem