The materials artists employ in their work often carry with them as much meaning as the content of the works themselves. For Fatma Al Shebani, accomplished Qatari artist well known for her use of strong materials such as bronze, resin, iron, and stainless steel, this could not be more true.
The people of Qatar have witnessed transformations in recent decades like few societies in history have. The social fabric of the country, as well as the urban landscape of its major metropolitan centar, Doha, have experienced dramatic change resulting from the discovery of oil less than a century ago, which pushed the national economy away from a declining pearl trade and set it on track to eventually boast one of the highest standards on living in the world. From its position as a relative backwater situated on the western shores of the Persian Gulf, to a thriving economy growing in the shadows of towering steel skyscrapers, Qatar has been, and in many ways remains, a society in transition.
Doha is a city characterized by its architectural diversity, and yet the broad range of stylistic approaches stand united through common visual elements and motifs that draw from Qatar’s rich national history. The same could be said of Al Shebani’s work, which exhibits a wide breadth of subject matter that nevertheless remains largely tied together through her choice of strong materials and commitment to drawing inspiration from Qatari history and culture. Indeed, through the use of various metals, Al Shebani has succeeded in creating a body of work that compliments the city’s architectural vernacular.
Her use of bronze, iron, and steel imbues a sense of both permanence and strength into her projects. These materials act to bolster the strength of her visual storytelling represented in the pieces themselves. Steel, the technology that first allowed for the development of contemporary urban skylines, carries with it certain notions of modernity in its application to her art. The subjects Al Shebani illustrates in her metal working, however, find inspiration in cultural motifs of times past. Specifically, she draws from her own personal memories to conjure up imagery that reflects traditional Qatari culture, often in forms reminiscent of conventional modes of dress. This idea becomes apparent in the many iterations of her ‘Bokhnaq’ and ‘Batoula’ series. In conjunction with one another, her choice of subject and material work to bring the lessons of the past forward into an ever modernizing, ever changing cultural context.
Like many of the architects who have aimed to preserve Qatar’s history in their construction of buildings that in many ways must, by virtue of their purpose and scale, break with tradition, Al Shebani often elects to immortalize elements of Doha’s surrounding marine and land environments in her work, casting them in beautiful relief. This is perhaps most clearly seen in Al Adiyat 9, which depicts horses, an important feature of Qatari history, in stunning motion, as well as her reliefs illustrating the sacred marine life of Qatar’s offshore reefs.
Doha has become, in many ways, a city of steel clinging purposefully to its roots. Architects have devised a myriad of creative tactics to embrace change while still acting to preserve traditional Qatari values and style. Al Shebani’s work then functions as the perfect compliment to the city’s dynamic urban landscape. She has expertly managed to marry the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, to establish a visual language that reflects this culturally rich nation’s ever changing ethos.
For more information about Fatma Al Shebani and her work, visit: https://www.fatmaalshebani.com/
Hardwood Floors Refinishing: Top Care Tips for a Lasting Shine
Revamping your hardwood floors requires both a time and financial investment, yet the returns are evident in the enhanced aesthetics and functionality of your residential or commercial area. However, the longevity and durability of these newly refinished floors are contingent upon proper maintenance. This detailed guide is designed to offer expert guidance on how to preserve the quality and look of your newly refinished hardwood floors. We’ll cover a variety of subjects, from the science of wood aging and types of wood that need more frequent treatment, to top tips for floor upkeep. Your investment in hardwood floor refinishing need not be short-lived; with the correct care, it can be a long-term enhancement to your property.
Tips for Ensuring Durability in Your Newly Refinished Floors
After you have spent money on hardwood floor refinishing, maintaining their condition becomes a top priority. Here are strategies to prolong the lifespan and appearance of your updated flooring.
1. Regular Cleaning
A clean floor is a happy floor. Use a microfiber mop or cloth to pick up dust, dirt, and grime daily if possible. For a deeper clean, opt for cleaning products specifically designed for hardwood floors. Make sure to read the labels and opt for pH-neutral cleaners that are free from abrasives or harsh chemicals. Weekly or bi-weekly, consider a gentle vacuuming with a hardwood-friendly vacuum cleaner to remove debris that may have settled between the wood planks.
2. Use Protective Pads
One of the most effective ways to prevent scratches and dents on your hardwood floors is to place felt pads under the legs of furniture. This simple step can go a long way in preserving the smooth finish of your floor. You should also replace these pads every few months, as they can wear down or accumulate grime, reducing their effectiveness.
3. Control Humidity
Fluctuating indoor humidity levels can wreak havoc on hardwood floors. Excessive moisture can cause the wood to swell, leading to issues like cupping or buckling, while too little moisture can cause wood to shrink, leading to gaps between planks. Invest in a quality hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity level, and aim to keep it between 30% and 50%. Use a humidifier during dry months and a dehumidifier during humid months to maintain optimal conditions.
4. Proper Spill Management
Accidents are inevitable, but the way you handle them can make all the difference. Whether it’s water, juice, or wine, if you spill liquid on your hardwood floor, wipe it up immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Avoid using paper towels as they can disintegrate and get stuck in the crevices of the wood. Also, never let liquids sit on the wood, as they can seep in and cause staining or warping.
5. No Shoes Policy
Implement a ‘no shoes’ policy to preserve your floors. Shoes can bring in dirt, gravel, and other harmful debris from outside. If a full-blown ‘no shoes’ policy isn’t realistic for your household, at least insist on no high heels or sports cleats, which can cause dents and scratches. You might also consider placing a high-quality doormat at entrances to trap dirt before it gets to your floor.
6. Regular Inspections
Every three to six months, set aside time to inspect your hardwood floors meticulously. Use natural light or a bright lamp to look for scratches, dents, or areas where the finish might be wearing off. If you catch these issues early, you may be able to address them with a simple touch-up rather than a full refinishing job.
7. Refresher Coats
Although your newly refinished floors look amazing now, they won’t stay that way forever without some upkeep. Consider applying a ‘refresher’ coat of finish every two to three years. This isn’t as invasive or time-consuming as a full refinishing project. Instead, it’s more like a topcoat that adds an extra layer of protection, keeping your floors looking vibrant and shiny.
8. Scheduled Expert Cleaning
A yearly cleaning session by professionals can dramatically enhance the condition of your hardwood floors. Specialized machinery and products are used to eliminate tough dirt, renew the wood’s natural shine, and smooth out minor imperfections. This process not only rejuvenates your flooring but also prolongs its lifespan, maintaining its fresh appearance for an extended time.
Advantages of Consistent Upkeep
Routine care for your restored hardwood floors does more than maintain their visual appeal; it also prolongs their durability, augmenting the long-term value of your property. Floors that are regularly cared for can endure for many years, negating the need for frequent, costly refinishing. In addition, a structured care regimen lessens the likelihood that small defects will escalate into serious issues, thus promoting a cleaner and more healthful living area. In summary, regular maintenance serves as a long-term financial benefit and a means of sustaining your home’s elegance.
When To Seek Professional Help
If you notice persistent issues like deep scratches, stubborn stains, or any form of water damage, it’s best to seek professional help. Specialists in hardwood floors refinishing can assess the situation and provide targeted solutions. Companies like 1DayRefinishing offer an extensive range of services that can effectively address these problems. Notably, the company specializes in a one-day turnaround, making them a convenient option for those in need of quick yet high-quality refinishing solutions.
Finding Trustworthy Services for Floor Refinishing
If you’re in a location with scarce local options, consider exploring 1 DAY Refinishing. Their seasoned experts offer complete solutions for maintaining and refinishing hardwood floors, helping to keep them pristine for the long haul.
The decision to invest in refinishing your hardwood floors is a significant commitment to enhancing your home’s aesthetics and overall value. By diligently following proper maintenance routines, your refinished floors can continue to elevate your home’s ambience. Every effort, from regular cleaning, to hiring professionals, adds to the resilience and visual allure of your hardwood floors. Stick to these essential care guidelines, and your floors will maintain their lustre for an extended period.
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