A Web-Based Teaching Course on Islamic Ceramics

Project Description:

This Web-Based Teaching Course on Islamic Ceramics was originally conceived primarily as an educational resource for students on the Islamic Art and Archaeology undergraduate and graduate courses at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford. To this end, The Barakat Trust generously funded the project, which began in 1997. However, it is now hoped that this will provide an invaluable worldwide reference point for students, potters, or anyone who is interested in the history of Islamic Ceramics. The programme is essentially divided into two parts: Part 1 is concerned with Technology and is itself subdivided into two sections: the first will take you step-by-step through the processes involved in making a pottery vessel, illustrated by still and digitised-video images of the relevant processes, and the second discusses modern methods (scientific, archaeological and ethnological) for the study of ceramics. While the examples and case-studies in these two Technological sections are used in reference to Islamic Ceramics, most of the information here is relevant for a general knowledge of ceramics, and is not specific to Islamic Ceramics. Part 2 is divided into 10 main sections, which each deal comprehensively with the most important phases in the history of Islamic Ceramics. These sections are listed chronologically according to the historical periods with which these phases are associated. Each section begins with a brief outline of the historical context, but focuses primarily on the main technical or stylistic innovations which took place at each production centre. Each section is likewise accompanied with a bibliography which aims to be as up-to-date as possible. These sections are intended to be colour-coded according to the main characteristics of the surviving pottery. In addition to these 10 main sections, there are links to smaller sections: these are Online Lectures, and the texts of several key articles which relate to aspects of the history of Islamic Ceramics. Lastly, there is a Glossary, a Bibliography which combines all the bibliographies of the individual sections, and suggestions for Study Guides (these are included for the benefit of students on the Oxford Islamic Art and Archaeology courses). The whole programme is illustrated mainly from the collections of the Department of Eastern Art, of the Ashmolean Museum, which reserves the copyright on all its images. The use of other images has been generously granted by various individuals, who likewise reserve the copyright on their images. It also includes digitised clips of a Teaching Video which was produced in tandem with this project, 'Making Lustre Pottery with Alan Caiger-Smith'.