What Is The History Of Ceramic Art Sculpture?
Ceramics are a timeless art form that can be seen in almost every culture around the world. They have been used to create everything from dishes to houses for thousands of years, and one of the most popular ways they are still being made today is through ceramic sculpture. The history of this art form goes back centuries, but it has continued to evolve as more artists come up with new techniques and ideas. This article will break down the history of ceramic sculpture, where the earliest traces of this art were found spanning thousands of years.
Ceramic Art In The Paleolithic Era (20,000 BC)
The earliest pottery vessels date from East Asia, with discoveries in China and Japan, which were still linked by a land bridge at the time, as well as some in what is now the Russian Far East, providing many between 20,000–10,000 BCE despite the vessels being simple utilitarian tools.
At Xianrendong Cave in Jiangxi province, prehistoric pottery shards dating back 20,000 years were discovered. Mobile foragers who hunted and gathered their food during the Late Glacial Maximum created ceramic containers long before the advent of agriculture. Many of the ceramic fragments had scorch marks on them, suggesting that they had previously been used for cooking or storage.
Ceramic Art In The Neolithic Era (6,500 – 3,500 BC)
During the Third Millennium BCE, people started making pots according to a method known as “coiling.” This process, which molded clay into a long strand that wrapped around it to form smooth walls, was first used to make early pots during this period. The potter’s wheel arrived in the New World too late for European explorers; it wasn’t discovered there until they arrived.
Embossing was used to decorate the clay, which started as geometric but often incorporated allegorical designs from the beginning.
Ceramic Art In The Pre-Neolithic Era (12,000 – 6000 BC)
Many beautiful stone vessels were created before the invention of pottery in Western Asia (about 7,000 BC) and agriculture. Between 12,000 and 9,500 BC, the Natufian people developed exquisite stone mortars. Around 8000 BC, several early towns specialized in creating stunning and highly technical stone containers out of materials like alabaster or granite with sand to polish them.
Artisans enhanced the artwork’s aesthetic effect by using the material’s veins. Such items have been discovered in great numbers along the upper Euphrates River in what is now eastern Syria, particularly near Bouqras.
Ceramic Art In Ancient Mesopotamia (3,400 BC)
The history of ceramics in the Middle East begins with an early, preliterate Neolithic culture that produced pottery at the cusp of the Uruk period (4000 to 3000 BC). Archaeological evidence tells us that this region is where ceramic making began -in fact, it was here that humans first started using clay as a raw material for pots and other containers.
- The earliest known examples were found just outside present-day Tehran, Iran around 8000-6000 BCE. These artifacts are now part of the National Museum of Iran’s collection on display today!
- At Susa dating back to before 2900 B.C., shards of pottery were found which belonged to the Proto-literate period (between 3500 and 3000 BC).
The history of ceramic art in Mesopotamia began with settlements like Uruk where they first started using clay as a raw material for pots and other containers.
Ceramic Art In Ancient Egypt (4000 – 300 BC)
For over 5000 years, ceramics played an important role in daily life throughout ancient Egyptian history. Because of this long history, there are many examples that have been preserved intact until today such as jars from around 4000 BC which had rope patterns on them decorated with gold! There is evidence of early trade between Egyptians living along the Nile river and those who lived further upriver towards Nubia based upon the distribution of pottery shards from those regions.
By Dru Bloomfield – https://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinscottsdale/3836187025/in/photostream/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95427764
The history of ceramic art in ancient Egypt spans over five millennia throughout various eras such as Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Some notable periods include:
- Amarna Art (1350- 1330 BC)
- Third Intermediate Period (2100 – 1070 BC)
- Nubian Dynasty
Black-topped ware pots were used for storing agricultural produce like oils or grain. Ceramic art truly played an important role that was more than just functional purposes but also had special symbolic meanings associated with them!
The history of ceramic art sculpture is one that spans several millennia. From ancient times to the present, humans have been creating beautiful and meaningful pieces from clay. Whether you want a custom piece for your home or office space, a functional vase or bowl for your kitchen table, or something more decorative as an accent piece in your living room – we can help! Contact us today with any questions about our process and products; we’d love to hear from you!
Are You Looking for Contemporary Ceramic Art Sculptures to Complement Your Home?
The Marshall Gallery, located in Scottsdale’s Historic Arts District, has been the center of contemporary art since its founding in 1998. Boasting a collection of paintings, ceramic sculptures, and exquisite glass pieces, the gallery hosts several exhibitions each year plus a biennial glass invitational that attracts top-notch talent. Here you will find exceptional art presented in an open and relaxed gallery space, which is perfect for browsing the ever-changing collection. Explore on your own, or allow our expert art consultants to offer complimentary assistance to find the perfect addition to your own collection. Looking for the perfect piece of art to complement your home’s decor? Visit us in person or browse our online art store!