Jordan Artifact Analysis – Ceramics

The artifact I’ve chosen to analyze is the picture of the woman doing ceramics. I chose this artifact because I’m familiar with ceramic art and can appreciate how difficult it is. Also how beautiful the outcome is as well. It’s an art that takes a lot of patience and leeway to mess up. When an artist becomes extremely good at the art it’s easy for them to make thousand dollar pieces of artwork and practical household uses (plates, teapots, cups, etc.). The question I’ve posed for this artifact is “How important is ceramics to Jordanian people?”. In America ceramic art is not appreciated as highly as it is in other places.

Trade, bargaining, and the marketplace are part of Jordanian culture. Ceramics may be extremely important to Jordan because of this reason. From the picture I can see that there are display lights in the background. This instantly gives me the thought that this artist is in a gallery of high importance. I’ve come to this conclusion because I see all different fancy glazes and designs on the artwork. In the background I can also see mosaic artwork. Mosaics are very important in some parts of the world because of their religious affiliation and of course, their beauty. Mosaic is another art form that requires a lot of patience.

The woman in the picture is very skilled at what she’s doing. Her piece she’s working on was thrown, trimmed and glazed skillfully. The designs she’s working on are extremely intricate. Most of this artwork is very expensive and generates a nice profit. It should, because it’s skillfully and patiently handmade. This may even be the type of studio where people come in and may customize the artwork they would like.

Buying and selling is not nearly the only desire for this type of artwork though. Jordan is also a spiritual and religious country. It makes sense that this artwork can also be used in religious ceremonies. The Arabic writing on these mosaics may actually be religious in some way. It would make sense because often times art and religious go hand and hand. After some research following my questions I’ve found that “Jordan has become famous for the high standard of crafts available to tourists and local people alike. A wide variety of crafts fill the shops of Amman and the bustling bazaars of the smaller towns and villages, far from the capital”. Jordan has very few natural resources compared to its neighboring countries. A result that may arise from a country with fewer natural resources is more unique and desirable maybe artistic products.

These are art forms that can be personalized and religiously affiliated. There may be special writing or passages from the Quran engraved into a ceramic piece. This is a specialized export from Jordan that is especially appreciated in other parts of the world. Pottery is popular in Jordan but Jordan also exports their pottery. Ceramic art is very much appreciated because of the patience and skill it requires to create. Also because the history of ceramic art in Jordan is extensive it is very much a part of Jordanian culture.

2 thoughts on “Jordan Artifact Analysis – Ceramics

  1. Lindsey Gouley

    This can kind of relate to my classThe Life In the Amazon. I feel as if art is more appreciated in other cultures than it is in the United States. In other cultures art is much more prevalent in their cultures than it is here in the United States. You mentioned how trade and bargaining is a part of their culture is well which i thought was interesting! Also art in other cultures, and cultures that I have learned in my CORE class as well is much more spiritual the it is here. I like how you mentioned how art is huge part of other cultures, as well as it is a huge part of their spirituality and religion. We saw this in the tribes in my class as well.

  2. Christine Kirkpatrick

    In my Istanbul class, I wrote my assignment on the mosaics and iconoclasm from the Byzantine Empire. Both mosaics and pottery tend to be these meticulous, under appreciated sort of arts that take more time than people often think. While the iconic arts of the Byzantine empire have a lot less practical use, and a lot more spiritual use, and the Jordanian ceramics are the other way around, it seems both of these still made an important mark on the cultures of the places we studied.


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