Iron works photos by Eid Fathi, aka Maimon - File Photo
CAIRO – 19 June 2017: Welding is the process of heating two pieces of metal to a melting point at which they fuse. In the past, a welder or blacksmith was known to be a person who simply uses a hammer, anvil, fire, and electric tools to forge iron. This is no longer the case with welding or welders nowadays.
Some welders have turned the profession of forging iron to fix a horseshoe or of combining two pieces of iron together into a much more refined form of art.
Taking welding iron to another level, some welders or blacksmiths skillfully tame iron and metal waste to produce artistic masterpieces. These artists make it hard for viewers’ eyes or minds to believe that their works are originally made of solid materials.
Eid Fathy, aka Maimoon is a smart artist behind an iron mask. A look at his knotted eyebrows and his face scarred with iron shrapnel may not tell much about his underlying skills. As a blacksmith turned artist, Maimoon uses his hands with high precision. The masterful wizard subtly orchestrates simple tools to create miraculous artwork.
Maimoon gives credit to French artist Fijunon, founder of the Fijunon School of Art.
Maimoon joined the school as a blacksmith at the age of 14. In 25 years of tireless work he learnt how to make filigree iron plates, figures and installations of scrap metal.
According to Maimoon, Fijunon would draw paintings on paper and Maimoon transform them into metal masterpieces.
Speaking about his mentor, Maimoon says “Being brought up by an artist is what shaped my artistic background. Fans of Maimoon’s metal sculptures and artwork are mostly foreigners and visitors of “Fijunon” artistic school. It is not for nothing that his works of arts are best sellers in France.
Maimoon considers Fijunon the source of his inspiration and said: "Fijunon changed my life, as a fine artist; he instilled the love of art in my heart and made me believe that I can make the impossible come true, and bit by bit I started to make sculptures and installations from iron scraps"
Speaking of the magnificent geometrical shapes he makes, Maimoon attributes his success to Fijunon.
His talent inspired visitors to Fijunon School of different nationalities.
As for his nickname, Maimoon said that "Everyone called me Maimoon for the past 25 years and it stuck." Egyptians call a monkey Maimoon. “Since I started working in this school, Fijunon would smile every time he sees my works and calls me a monkey for being as smart and clever as the monkey,” Maimoon recalls.
Maimon spoke with love about his work and said "Imagination is the secret behind my success; I try to imagine sculptures for a long time before I start working on them. I spare no effort to make them an embodiment as close as possible to reality. I also try to pass my experience to my kids and instill the love of art in their hearts."
Enthusiastic as he was, Maimoon proudly spoke about his achievements. The 42-year-old ambitious blacksmith is also persistent in becoming literate at his age and after he had three kids. "I decided to learn and become literate in order to develop my work and be able to read and know what’s going on in the world, Maimoon said."
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