Moroccan Pottery: Types and Decorations
Moroccan pottery is a delicacy that is as unique and stunning as it is awe-inspiring. Moroccan pottery is often used for interior decorative applications, however, it also makes exceptional tableware. The craftsmanship involved in each piece is remarkable. Moroccan pottery has a richness to its color and texture that cannot be found in other types of pottery. Many people believe that Moroccan pottery is one of the most beautiful ceramic products on the market.
Most Moroccan pottery style is heavily influenced by Islamic Art. Arguably the most recognizable characteristics of this pottery are the bold, curved shapes that have been painted directly onto the inner surface of the pots. Intricate, geometrical, and arabesque geometric patterns are often seen on the surface of authentic pieces. In addition to these geometrical patterns, the potters often decorate their wares with motifs derived from nature, particularly the desert, birds, rocks, and the like. These designs give each piece a characteristic appearance that lends it uniqueness. Ceramic mugs, vases, and other items made from Moroccan pottery are highly prized because they are an incredible way to display the beauty of the intricate art that is deeply carved into the bottom of each piece.
Although Moroccan pottery was once crafted for strictly functional purposes, today it is also widely used as a decorative item. The highly detailed nature of the designs has lent them an air of art and mystery that has resonated with many consumers. This style of pottery is influenced largely by Arabic and Islamic art techniques. The designs are inspired by nature as well as religious icons. For example, the bird-shaped vase is inspired by the winged creatures that are a common sight in Islamic iconography.
Some of the most familiar forms of Moroccan pottery can be found in round-shaped bowls. They were created to serve as drinking vessels; however, the rounded shape became a much more popular choice as a vessel for decoration. In addition to round-shaped bowls, the now ubiquitous square-shaped dishes became popular with their unique circular shapes. Square-shaped bowls are usually decorated with geometric motifs and patterns. The arched tops of these types of Moroccan ceramic dishes are often made from natural clay.
A more geometric design would be the basket-like pots that often create geometric-looking flower-like patterns. They can be found in a wide array of sizes and colors. The flower-like patterns are created from highly detailed and polished ceramic tile designs. The potters often insert various materials inside of the pots to enhance the illusion of intricate geometric designs. A good example would be the use of gold leaf to accentuate the floral patterns.
Vases are another common type of pottery used during the Moroccan era. These vases can have very intricate and detailed flower decorations. The pots can also include several different types of figurines that often emanate from complex geometric patterns that emanate from circular patterns with vertical lines. The use of multiple figurines enhances the effect of the visual geometric patterns that are created in the pottery.
Another Moroccan style of pottery is vases that are made of a ceramic material called villi. The villi pottery is considered by many potters to be more appealing than the other Moroccan ceramic materials mentioned above. The term zillij is derived from the Arabic word “Zilla”, which means shell. This type of pottery is characterized by its small size and intricate artistry. Many vases that are made of villi are decorated with brightly colored mosaic designs.
The final type of pottery discussed here, and one of the most common forms of Moroccan pottery is the clay mosaic dishes. These dishes are large-sized and are used to display meals. Some of the most common mosaic dishes include fish bowls that often display fishes, chicken, and beef that are being cooked on top of a richly colored ceramic bottom. Other types of ceramic dishes that often carry a strong resemblance to Moroccan pottery include dishes that include earthenware basins, bowls, and vases.