Artifact Analysis Jordan Ceramic

For the common assignment of this course, we had a few artifacts from the region to choose to analyze with no outside researching available. The artifacts were a song, a story, an audio recording and a photograph. The photograph, seen above, was the one that I chose to dissect as much as possible. The picture shows a Jordanian woman working on creating an art piece made of ceramic. My analysis started with as much questioning of the picture as possible. Once I had asked all the questions I could think of, the list was then used to deduct what may be going on in this picture.
One of the first connections made for me was between this picture, and the practices of Santeria (Shaking The Spirit 330) where people often make elaborate pots and ceramic arts to offer to and also house different Orisha’s. So that leads me to believe that this could very well be a pot being made for a religious practice. The number of ceramic pieces behind her also supports that claim. There is clearly a rhyme and reason as to how these pots are constructed.
The ceramics are all painted in similar ways, according to type. This, and the fact that the woman has very few simple tools, seems to show that there is clearly some cultural weight behind the look and style of these pieces. Her set up tells me that she has done this before, and that it is a normal thing. Not only are the ceramics in the back all painted in a uniform way, but they are also arranged in a uniform way, as if to be put on display for a passing customer. The biggest thing I was trying to figure out was whether these pieces were for business or pleasure. Or rather, is she making them as an artist, as a homeowner, as a religious practice, or as a merchant? Between the uniform of the pieces, the set up that this woman is working with, and also in a way her expression and demeanor, it seems very plausible that this woman could be designing ceramic plates, mugs and pots to be sold on the bustling streets of the Amman market. After getting to know this picture, it seems safe to say that this woman is creating a pot in a way that people have been doing for a very long time. Whether this pot has religious significance or not doesn’t bother the notion that this is a shop of some kind. Some kind that would fit nicely into a market of the streets of Amman, a place where vendors (some with no other choice) hand make and sell artistic works that their families have been producing for generations.

2 thoughts on “Artifact Analysis Jordan Ceramic

  1. Madison Noyes

    Religious art seems to be a universal theme no matter what part of the world you are studying in core 330. This leads me to believe that they definetly go hand in hand, as it seems to be a form of expression that is really powerful. In my Irish Drama core we didn’t really delve much into the physical art (mostly plays.. obviously) and they seemed to have political influence. There was a heavy Pagan (art) influence in the play I chose to focus on in my common assignment, Dancing at Lughnasa. I only really said that because we need to connect it back to our other core instead of being free to write whatever we want about whatever we want, so there ya go. Hey, look !! we both wrote about art!

    I also want to note that its interesting that your core class is making you make many assumptions based on a picture out of context — I’m hoping this is a more ironic “see what you do when you make assumptions” kind of way.

  2. Timothy Donovan

    I have always found the traditions of other cultures very fascinating, when you brought up that the pots and ceramics to house Orishas, which I assume are spirits, i was fascinated. After learning about Irish culture i would have to say that Irish people would be fascinated too and i think Jordanians would be intrigued by some of the traditions of the Irish. The World is such a diverse place and even cultures within a country are different. In Jordan you have the Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians, and many other different groups of people all with vastly different cultures and traditions. It just goes to show how much cultural diversity is out there.


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