Human kind has been using clay to create pots and storage containers since the time of the first known civilizations. Clay was hand coiled to make containers for food and water, in order to survive. As time progressed, so did the process of making ceramics. Eventually, a spinning wheel was invented for this very purpose.
There are different types of Moroccan ceramics produced: unglazed pottery, originally for domestic and utilitarian use; painted and glazed decorative ceramics, which were used as plates and bowls; and loose cut tiles.
In early Morocco, the unglazed clay pots were a necessity for life. Without them, you were unable to store water or food. Many of these earthenware containers are still made today, but for very different purposes.
Traditional water jugs are made merely for decoration these days. Sometimes out of black resin from the Thuya, a tree that can only be found in Morocco. The resin has a pleasing perfume smell and a taste that repels insects. This keeps them in demand.
The other glazed and painted types of Moroccan ceramics were always meant throughout history to be decorative, and sometimes functional. Moroccans use these ceramics to decorate the shelves of their kitchen for centuries. This is a great idea for those high kitchen shelves that are not easily accessible.
Ceramic plates and other tableware are rarely used in Morocco today for anything but decoration. Due to the large volume of imports to the country, the need and desire for these ceramics dropped. Fancy china sets and porcelain have taken their place.
Moroccan pottery is also tied to its people’s belief of magic and evil spirits. In the Middle Atlas, pottery was used to predict the type of year a person was going to have, either a successful year or not. People would place a couscous steamer on a tent pole and then push it off. If it only breaks into a few large pieces, then the year will be good. If it falls and shatters into many tiny pieces then winter will be awful and hard times are ahead.
Moroccan tiles are especially beautiful and magical at the same time. The Moroccan government wanted to preserve this timeless Moroccan tradition so it hired artists to decorate public spaces all over Morocco with these beautiful tiles. They can be seen in mosques, floors, fountains, and also in many private homes.
Modern made ceramic pieces are often cobalt blue designs that shine off a brilliant white background. Designs are often geometric shapes with leaves flowers in the pattern. The many different shapes of pots and vases make them incredibly versatile for interior decorating. Smaller flat pieces can be placed on Moroccan tables, while large Moroccan vases put in corners of a room to fill excess space.
Each piece of Moroccan pottery is unique because of the firing technique used to create them. Once fired, there is no way to predict how the glaze will settle. Two pots made with the same glaze could easily come out two different shades. This adds to the dedication and skill required for this art form.
Exquisite Moroccan ceramics and tiles blend into any home and create a one-of-a-kind Moroccan style décor touch. No matter how big or small the piece is, it is bound to attract expressions of awe and admiration.
Article Source: Adeal Benhayoun