The Contribution of Islamic Art to Ceramics
The contribution of Islamic art to the world of ceramics is often overlooked. However, Islamic potters were highly skilled artisans who produced some of the most beautiful and intricate wares in history. This essay will explore the use of Islamic pottery in architecture, the development of Islamic pottery over time, and the influence of Islamic pottery on the wider world.
2. The use of Islamic pottery in architecture
One of the most striking features of Islamic architecture is the use of brightly-coloured ceramic tiles to decorate the exterior walls of buildings. These tiles, known as Turkish tiles, are typically made from white or cream-coloured clay that has been decorated with geometric patterns or figurative scenes using a vibrant underglaze. Lusterware, which is a type of pottery that has been coated in a metallic glaze, is also often used in Islamic architecture. Minai is a type of lusterware that was particularly popular in the Middle East during the medieval period. It is distinguished by its use of stars and crosses as decoration, as well as its intricate vegetal scroll work.
3. The development of Islamic pottery
Islamic pottery first began to develop during the early Abbasid period in what is now Iraq. At this time, the Abbasid Caliphate was at the height of its power and Baghdad was one of the most prosperous cities in the world. The Islamic potters engaged in striving to be on an equal level in terms of technical excellence with the Chinese potters who were producing the wares that were very fine. As a result, they developed a number of innovative techniques, such as using tin-glazing and sexpartite vaults, that allowed them to produce high-quality wares.
4. The style of Islamic pottery
The style of Islamic pottery is characterized by its use of bright colours and patterns. Geometric patterns are particularly common, as are figurative scenes featuring animals or humans. Flowers and other vegetation are also often used as decoration. The colour palette typically includes blue, green, yellow, and orange, although other colours may also be used. White lusterware is also common.
5. The influence of Islamic pottery on the wider world
The influence of Islamic pottery can be seen in many different parts of the world. One example is Hispano-Moresque ware, which was produced in Spain during the Moorish period. This type of pottery was heavily influenced by Islamic aesthetics and featured similar bright colours and patterns to those seen in Islamic wares. In addition, many modern designers have been inspired by Islamic ceramics and have incorporated elements of their style into their own work.
Islamic pottery is a significant but often overlooked part of the history of ceramics. Islamic potters were highly skilled artisans who produced some of the most beautiful and intricate wares in history. The use of Islamic pottery in architecture, the development of Islamic pottery over time, and the influence of Islamic pottery on the wider world are all topics that deserve further exploration.