One of the most beautiful, strong, and intricate features in Moroccan architecture are the traditional wood ceilings which are hand carved and hand painted. It is a main component of the decoration of private homes and sacred spaces in Morocco.
The hand painted designs used for the traditional ceilings is called Zouaq. The painting technique originated in Morocco and consists of detailed geometric and floral patterns in a multitude of colours. This traditional painting is composed of geometric and biomorphic motifs and is painted onto wood using natural pigments.
Zouaq painting can be found painted onto ceilings, doors, furniture and wooden objects.
Geometric Design and Floral Motifs are used in the design of the ceiling patterns. Based on Islamic beliefs, avoiding the use of human or animal images is preferable.
This is a new hand carved, hand painted traditional wood ceiling using traditional motifs on cedar wood
Here you can see a hand drawn template, hand cut and used to trace the pattern onto the cedar wood ceiling in pencil. The pattern is then hand painted with custom colours.
Colours are matched to the design and mixed for an exact colour match
In the workshop, the artisans have many templates and spend hours perfecting the technique and matching the designs
The hand carved frieze and ceiling elements are done by first sketching the design with a template and then hand chiselling the soft cedar wood
Below is an example of a traditional reeded ceiling.
Intricate details in the frieze, and trims conceal air slots for HVAC air supply and return grills