Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stylistic Moroccan Art In Ceramic Pottery

Moroccan art is a distinctive reflection of the creativity of the many local artists, whose ideas came from their strong Islamic history and geological layout. The brilliant colors and bold designs are seen throughout the country; from the houses, gardens, buildings, palaces, mosques, furniture, food, clothing, pottery, and even with the eclectic pulse and electrifying atmosphere that can be enjoyed throughout the cities of Morocco.
The creativity of the locals is expressed in many different forms. Wood and furniture is so intricately decorated with rich, strong carvings; the colorful woven carpets have strong, geometric designs and rich coloring that is carefully and meticulously constructed on a manual loom by individual crafters. Ornate ceramics also boasts of the captivating mosaics made by skilled artisans.

Morocco is very well-known for their wide range of ceramic pottery. All were hand painted with fine details, deep colors, and a variety of hand spun designs. The main centers for ceramics are Safi, which produces pottery inlaid with metal or covered tightly with leather, and Fes, which produces the very distinctive blue and white fassi pottery.
The most interesting forms of ceramics are that of Safiot pottery. They are incredibly ornate masterpieces that are simply unbeatable for handcrafted decadence. Each ceramic masterpiece is filled with meaningful designs, styles and colors. Some of the pieces are trimmed with tooled silver overlay which gives a sort of richness to the design and adds to its uniqueness. Techniques used to create these beautiful designs include engraving, stamping, molding and sculpting, and a skilled artisan may also used subtle differences in color to further decorate their artworks.
Moroccan pottery is unique because the country has many different types of soil found nowhere else in the world, from which they mould into works of art. The pottery on display in certain regions tells a story about the influences of that area. In the northern Berber villages of Morocco, pottery tends to have a more rustic, earth-tone presentation. The pottery of Safi is shiny with an almost metallic look. The pottery of Fez and Safi are closely related but, pottery in Fez tends to be brown, yellow, and even green on a white background. Meknes adopted its methods of pottery making from Fez, and is famous with its metallic-green pottery that is on display in many artistic institutions across Morocco.
In pottery making, the potter first works the clay on a spinning wheel. The process can take from ten minutes for an item like a bowl, to more than three hours for something as large as a jug. The molded clay is then set outside to dry. Large serving dishes and jugs are separated according to their kind. Once dry, the pottery is taken to the kiln. Once the ceramic wares have been fired, the decorative stage begins and designs are dependent upon the region where the pottery is produced. Some of the more traditional Berber tribes have patterns that they have been using for over 200 years. Then the pottery is fired again, where the paint used for decorating the pots, jugs, bowls, mugs, and tagines settles.
Beautiful and colorful earthen wares such as ceramic plates with unique designs are just one of the many ceramic potteries that showcase the locals’ creative abilities. These were hand painted, and common themes used in design are complex geometric, floral and calligraphic visual pattern, paired with simple, bright, and often whitewashed colors.

Pottery is an authentic souvenir. They make great gifts or will bring back memories of the time spent when traveling in Morocco. Some of the easiest types of pottery to bring home are ceramic plates. Looking through the pottery markets you’ll surely find a color, type, and style that match your own taste and your home decor.

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