Essay on Persian Ceramics and Textile Art

Sample Essay on Persian Ceramics and Textile Art:

Introduction
As cultures and civilizations grow and maintain themselves, art is often used as a form of communication within a society and a means to preservation of ideas, historical events, and important people. Art can influence an entire generation and cause assimilation, as well as diversification of a society’s culture. At the height of the Persian Empire, Babylonia and Elam were under Persian rule. The Persian arts developed and people started to express themselves in the forms of ceramics and textile art. As in many other cultures, there is a diversity of influence present. For example, tribe lineage, as well as Islamic and oriental culture has influenced Persian motifs, an integral part of the textile art form. After the Persian Empire came under Islamic rule, Islamic culture, ideals and even mythology became an important factor in the Persian arts. (Wilksinson, Charles, 222). Nevertheless, Persian design is very unique from other Islamic arts and is in turn often considered one of Persia’s greatest contributions towards the culture of the world. There are many common characteristics of the two art forms of ceramics and textiles but the two have taken on different form over the years.

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Definition and Context
Ceramics is the art of melting a nonmetallic, inorganic material often used to make decorative objects such as figures, tiles, and pottery. Textile art is define, by Princeton University as an artifact made by knitting, weaving, felting, or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers. (2)The value and worth of these arts is usually determined by a few different factors. In textiles, the quality of the raw materials used, the density of the weave, and finishing processes are among some of the things paid attention to. For art of the ceramic type, the quality of the varnish and stone is important as is the design depicted upon the materials (Wilkinson, Charles, 220). These two methods of creation have been contributed to by culture, ruling kingdoms, and natural surroundings and expressed in different time periods and through various platforms. These following paragraphs will highlight the different applications of, and similarities found in, these two types of art execution.

Ceramics
Ceramics is considered one of the most outstanding and earliest kinds of art from Persia, in particular from Susa, Elam and Persepolis. A good understanding of chemistry and chemical reactions is a plus, which would help any ceramicist with his or her glazes. Beautifully designed treasures, taking the form of plates, bowls, vases, and teapots, endowed with a unique flavor of design, were the mainstay of many Persian artists. In the pieces that were made, it was common to find simplified patterns of biological observations made around the artist’s world (Young, Jennie, 38-39).

Different periods and sects saw different traditions entrenched onto the world of ceramics. The stylization in some art shows the use of geometric principles to depict wildlife. For instance, the Neolithic art, originating in the mountains near Kashan, shows the use of simple black lines and triangles to depict boars, birds and mountain goats. In the 12th and 13th centuries, polychrome pottery became very popular and royal personages, mystical metaphors, and battle scenes would be depicted on the piece. It is said that this technique, called minai ceramics is a product of Rayy, Kashan and maybe Saveh, which were all very influential cities in former civilization.

Textiles
Textile art uses motifs and patterns, like many other arts. These are the squares and blocks of patterned symbols that are used to eventually form a larger design. Motifs, used in practices such as knitting and crochet, are used to create things such as blankets or shawls. For instance, in knitting or crocheting a blanket, the granny square, a Persian garden pattern, is jut one motif out of thousands. Textiles and tile work were first represented strongly in the cities of Kashan and Tabriz. The motifs most frequent here are of animals, hunting scenes, accompanied by a depiction of the natural habitat with which they may be surrounded. As the raw silk trade expanded in Persia, Sassanid was a place where silk-weaving activities flourished, along with elegant designs and exquisite quality. The Sassanids loved using these motifs as a basis for their colorful mosaics (Dusenbury, Bier, et al. 81-82) .

Although rugs and carpets are a major part of textile art, this is not the only activity. In textile printing, both symmetrical and asymmetrical designs are used to create remarkable artifacts. Textile printing is an art form that involves fabrics which are print ready with a design and is also considered as a very old art, being traced back to the 4th and 5th centuries, yet it is still being used today. So whether it is a fancy red passionate floral motif or that of black birds of the sky, whether it is a twill or a weave, they may differ in the vividness of the color and style, but they are all similar in distinction. (Dusenbury, Bier, Foresman, et al. 83-84).

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