Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oh DEAR!!!! What did genetics give me! ....my mom will understand this because it is about dishes.

           I cannot contain the excitement that I feel right now after finding a new ceramic by surfing the internet.  Let me back up a  little.  I am doing research on my next pottery assignment.  It started out as one thought, a drawing, then, it totally morphed into a platter instead of a bowl.  I talked to my sister about it it and VWalah I know have a for sure vision and orders from my family that want them!  Wait!  I haven’t EVEN touched the raw clay yet. 

The assignment:  Make a food service dish that will display and enhance the food to be brought to the SCAG Thanksgiving potluck.  

          SCAG stands for students ceramic arts guild. Picking the type of food for my project was easy!  My family’s traditional meal since growing up overseas on an Aramco compound, Ras Tanura, is a cups or kabsa for Thanksgiving and for Christmas.  We cover the floor with sheets and all eat the meal sitting on the floor surrounding 5 huge four foot wide platters. I think about 5-10 people can fit around one platter.  The meal consists of meat, rice, tabouleh and a sauce with other condiments such as cut cucumber and lemons.  My favorite is the Tabouleh, and usually I help to create it. Tabouleh is a middle eastern salad with cracked bulgar, diced fresh parsely, dice tomatoes, cukes, lettuce, onions, and a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and spices. I swear I could OD on this stuff. 

          About my project....I have so many ideas, geometrical designs, even phrases beautifully written in Arabic to adorn my theoretical vessel with and hours researching exactly what I want. It should display my tabouleh with a dish in the middle for the sauce. I hope it turns out well.....and suddenly....while looking through images on the net I accidentally encountered …..POLISH POTTERY!!  It totally made my heart race I am loved every shade of blue and all the exquisite perfectly repeated designs in every bowl and every plate!  Most polish pottery is in my favorite shade....BLUE! Finding so much of it made me feel like I was cookie monster at a cookie swap.  I loved those dishes!  I love those dishes, and I will love thoses dishes into the future!  I think this covers all the verb tenses.... Furthermore, I really love antique dishes, I love stoneware, I love new dishes, I love polish, I love blue, I love bright, moroccoan and greek!!  I love the bronze age, I love it all!! This is sounding almost seusical, maybe I am a stoneware dish geek!

Breathing deeply now……..breathing deeply…….breathing deep.


          Here is a picture of my latest unfinished assignment.  It is a Mycenaen replica.  I have so much respect for handmade pottery now, it is beyond belief how they created such vessels. This pot is so big it bends the bat of hardboard holding it.  Also, I have applied terra sigillata which is a way of making the vessel look a bit glossy and finished, like an ancient glaze  Here is my write up on the history behind the piece, I thought it was interesting. Yesterday I made a lid for it, I actually plan on using this huge vessel to store food stuff in. 


Pottery can play an integral part in the discovery and aid in further study of ancient civilizations. Up until 1870, Mycenae, was a city that existed only in the minds of Greek legends and written about in the poetry of Homer. Heinrich Schliemann, an amateur archaeologist, set out to find the city written about in Homers Iliad, using only the well known objects from prominent places in the writing. Schliemann found the remains of what was once the strongest city in a thriving network of city states. Mycenae was rich in trade and ruled by royal monarchs supported by a stalwart military. The types of people that lived in Mycenae, which is about 56 miles south west of Athens, were priests, soldiers, artisans, serfs, slaves, merchants, and bureaucrats. The findings of the archaeological digs proved that the Mycenaens kept impeccable records. For hundreds of years Mycenae was a thriving city. Because of the Mycenaen pottery that is scattered all over the Mediterranean, it can be assumed that Mycenaens traveled quite a distance for trade. Mycenae existed from 1900 B.C. and disappeared by 1125 B.C. Theories of the city’s collapse include natural disasters, city wide fires, or climate change as to the cause.  Mycenaen pottery has been found in Egypt and Italy and artifacts as far away as Germany. Greek pottery styles of intricate images with a dark and light contrast post date the Mycenaen era.  Mycenaen pottery usually appears unglazed, banded, or with plant and marine life images.  A hidden past was uncovered when the amateur archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann discovered the legendary Mycenae through the writings of Homer.

I love this unearthed octopot from Mycenae.....love the octopus!  In order to make an exact replica, pictures were taken to kinkos to blow up the image to at least 20 inches tall or more.  Then the outline of half the pot was traced and cut out onto poster board.  This was to be used as a gauge to make it accurate.  I will have to say it was extrememly difficult to do.  Not to mention that the Mycenaen pots were usually a meater in heighth, mine ended up being only 3 feet tall. 


This post just needs to end for now, for many reasons, but I can't wait to tell you about taking two 10 year olds to the ceramics studio and what that has to do with Yo Gabba Gabba!




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