Malika Elkhabbati - handcraft maker
"Orange and lemon peels and seeds from various fruits, from melon seeds to peach, apricot or olive stones, etc."
Malika Elkhabbati is a handcraft maker of Moroccan... origins but who has lived on the island for over 10 years and makes creations with a technique that comes from Columbia she tells us, although she has modified a little the treatment of the product and the designs are her own. Tell us Malika, how did you become a handcraft maker, was that your occupation before you arrived here?
No, when I arrived on the island I didn't have a job and I didn't speak Spanish either and I started helping out the person who is now my associate and I learned the technique on how to dry the fruit skins and seeds in order to be able to manipulate them later.
" No, when I arrived on the island I didn't have a job and I didn't speak Spanish either and I started helping out the person who is now my associate and I learned the technique on how to dry the fruit skins and seeds in order to be able to manipulate them later."
The jewellery and other ornaments you make are really beautiful and they are totally ecological and recycled. What materials do you normally use?
Orange and lemon peels and seeds from various fruits, from melon seeds to peach, apricot or olive stones, etc. We collect lemon and orange peels, etc., from various cafeterias in Corralejo and Puerto del Rosario, then we wash them and put them in the sun. The following day, we put them in a mix of alcohol and a special product and we keep them like that for three days and then we put them back in the sun. Then we cut them to give them the shapes of flowers and we make a hole through them in order to be able to thread them later and then back in the sun again to harden them up. The following process is the tint with special natural tints for fruits.
Are those your own designs?
Yes, they are mine, I have added some modernity and colour to the designs.
How long does it take you to make a necklace for example?
It takes me eight days, then the assembling can be done in a few minutes depending on the model.
Have you been doing this kind of work for a long time?
Nine years, since I started learning and it has allowed me to bring my children here and to look after my family.
Do you renew your designs often?
Yes, I keep on adding new designs and I also make key rings and rings, etc.
Where can we find your lovely creations?
At the market of El Campanario in Corralejo and also on the beach of the village of Corralejo where I am every day. I also exhibit at the handcraft market in El Castillo. I have regular clients who come back to me every year and take my necklaces as presents and they sometimes place orders. They like them because they don't get damaged as time goes by and sometimes I get asked for special creations such as flower curtains for doors and windows that I only make on order. There are also two shops that have my creations and we sell some to a client in Lanzarote who redistributes them.
People interested can contact Malika on 610 013 424.