Jewellery, 2000
Sterling silver, cornelian, 14k and 18k gold, rubies
Lent by the artist
(Photo: Harry Foster  © Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation)

" As for the jewellery, the ones I like to create resemble ancient amulets and talismans. These are objects that have, as in antiquity, a sacred character, and are inspired by traditional and symbolic motifs. "

Excerpt from a text by the artist

Of Turkish-Egyptian ancestry, Nihal Mazloum was born in Paris in 1951 and grew up in Cairo, in an affluent and multilingual family. After receiving a Bachelor's degree in anthropology from Cairo's American University, she left Egypt to study ethnology in Paris. She remained there for seven years and then immigrated to Canada in 1978. She lives in Montreal.

Nihal Mazloum
Nihal Mazloum, Montreal, Quebec, 1999
Camille Zakharia
Iris digital prints
Collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization

Now a jeweller and artisan, she has always been fascinated by metalwork. It was in Paris that she decided to follow that direction, undergoing advanced training in metalwork despite the disapproval of her mother, who was disappointed to see her adopt a craft traditionally reserved for men. Transforming material . . . that's what pleases me, as much as creating objects does. She opened a workshop in Montreal and began to display her jewellery in 1979. It was in Montreal that she acquired most of the techniques she now uses.

Brooch, 2000
Calligraphy: " In the name of God, the Lenient, the Merciful "
Sterling silver, 14k gold
Lent by the artist
(Photo: Harry Foster  © Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation)

She attributes a sort of sacred value to jewellery and draws her inspiration from the motifs, symbols and myths of ancient cultures-Pharaonic, but also Greek, African and, more generally, prehistoric. A piece of jewellery is not only an abstract object that is beautiful. I craft it so as to give strength and power to the person who will wear it, she explains.

Nihal Mazloum participates in various craft shows, as well as in exhibitions in Canada and the United States, and sells her production in her workshop and in specialized stores. Several of her jewellery pieces can be found in the Canadian Museum of Civilization's collection.