Shahd Essam is an artist and designer specialised in woodwork and jewellery design. She is an alumna of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo class of 2022, where she majored in woodwork, and is currently a product designer and instructor at The Design Studio by Azza Fahmy, a contemporary jewellery making and jewellery design school in Egypt founded by the designer Azza Fahmy.
Shahd's journey as a designer began when she studied architecture at the German University in Cairo. She soon realised that she had a passion for design, and went on to enrol in a jewellery-making and jewellery design course at the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy, where she took up product design. Following this course, Shahd designed several independent jewellery collections and began to seek ways to improve her design and craftsmanship.
In pursuit of enhancing her craft, in 2020 Shahd enrolled in the Jameel House of Traditional Arts. During her two-year diploma at Jameel House, she developed skills and received training in the traditional techniques of ceramics, brass work, gypsum and woodwork and carving. Especially inspired by the beauty and versatility of wood, Shahd majored in woodwork and started to experiment with different types of wood to create unique designs. She completed a heritage project during her diploma of a wooden panel engraved with decorative scenes of humans and animals drawn from daily life in the Fatimid era that has since been exhibited at the Cairo Museum of Islamic Art in an exhibition entitled, 'Our journey: 119 years of civilisation and creativity.'
Following her graduation from the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in 2022, Shahd participated in a woodcarving introduction workshop at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation and got the opportunity to showcase her woodwork design skills when she was invited to participate in the Esna Inspiration Product project as part of the 'Visit Esna' campaign funded by USAID and implemented by Takween Integrated Community Development. For this project she made several designs for wooden trays inspired by Esna's heritage.
In addition to woodwork, Shahd continues to design jewellery and has previously showcased her designs in multiple showings including the Maqad of Sultan Qaytbay exhibition, at Beit Yakan and in the Mountain View North Coast exhibition.