Ashmolean Ceramics Research

From visiting the Ashmolean, I learnt about the history of ceramics, and the techniques used and adopted by the various countries/continents.

I only took note of the countries where the refugees have been emigrating from in order to help inform the materials and processes I will use to make the ceramic vessels.

Ancient Greek pottery was made using terracotta clay, often vessels (lekythos), bowls etc were made for practical use and were decorated with common narratives and Greek myths.

From 700 AD onwards, China began to produce large quantities of high fired white wares. By 1100’s Chinese porcelain was popularised (fritware, stone paste), and by the 1300/1400’s blue and white ware was widely circulated.

From Western Anatolia and specifically Iran during the 15th and 17th centuries, Iznik ware became particularly popular. They would be made with a polychrome underglaze and often were decorated with arabesque patterns combining both traditional Ottoman and Chinese elements.

I began to see the common traits that were traded and borrowed between Islamic and Chinese ware. Particularly the Arabesque patterns, and use of flower imagery. The elements of Islamic art also included: figures, geometry, and arabic calligraphy. (Even though the Qur’an forbids the depiction of the figure, it was acceptable to do so on ceramics as they were often not of religious connotation.

arabesque-playlist-2.jpg

Arabesque detail

 

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