Four Rivers Studio is a small business that started with the goal of making unique home decor pieces and experiences. In our other lives, we are a historian and nurse husband and wife duo, and this effort started as a way to explore our creativity and make things we love. The name Four Rivers comes from the founding legend of the Ottoman Empire, which is the object of my husband’s research. A nomadic warrior dreamed of a tree that burst from his chest and from the roots of that tree, four rivers flowed and went all over the world. This supposedly signified his family’s dynasty. The Ottoman Empire would go on to become a major state with many ethnicities and cultures within its lands. Its aesthetic imprint reflected cultures from both the East and the West, but was decisively unique and unprecedented. That is part of what we hope to do: to create authentic, unique pieces that transcend borders, reflect a wide variety of artistic influences, and are grounded in innovative thinking.
My name is Hadeel (pronounced Ha-Deal like the real deal) and I’m an ICU nurse at a Chicago hospital. When I’m not working at the hospital, I enjoy exploring many aspects of woodworking. My passion for making things is compounded by the joy of showcasing the how-to. As a novice woodworker I’ve learned that you don’t always have to have the latest tools and fanciest gadgets to make beautiful pieces. I love breaking down seemingly difficult concepts to show that there’s a lot of ways to milk a cow (I know that’s not the saying, but I don’t like the idea of skinning cats so we’re going with it). I aim to show the process of making a timeless and unique piece, from concept to creation.
Firas is a historian completing his PhD at the University of Chicago. While I’m the one usually sharing projects on social media, Firas makes most of the items that end up on our shop. He sometimes takes over our Instagram page to give impromptu lessons about calligraphy and history, topics that often provide him with inspiration for many of his most recent designs and projects.