of Earthenware from the point of view of Ornamental Paintings
and Ornaments of Enamel-less Crockery,
which are divided into three categories:
Engraved: Like geometric
designs, wavy, zigzag, dotted, parallel and vertical lines and
Additional images: Image,
which is connected to crockery after fabrication as a separate
3- Molded images: This is called to
images and designs, which are achieved with a mould of negative
image. Following, the ready crockery is laid inside the mould and
image is reflected on it. These images are miscellaneous such as
geometrical designs, human images, animal images, plants, and
sometimes together with old calligraphy such as “Solse” or
Images mostly consist of dancing or musical scenes or running
animals in forest, as well as geometric designs, such as
rectangular, triangles, circles, and also botanic designs, such as
cypress tree, foliage and arabesque flowers.
Earthenware with Clay Covering
Clay covering or slip as an ornament covers the earthenware in
various colors, which was in vogue in Iran since 9th and
10th century A.D., and its colors has been mostly in
white or milky. This earthenware is divided into the following
groups considering ornamental designs:
with black design on white ground:
This earthenware is covered
with clay, covering and decorated with black or dark brown designs,
added with transparent lead enamel.
2-Earthenware with multicolor designs on
These kinds are called “Sari dishes”, “rustic” or
“colorful dishes”. Colors like purple, black, dark brown, yellow
and ruddle, as a thin layer on an opaque ground and finally a slip
is applied on dish.
Images are various, such as animals, birds and fulfilled circles.
Feature of these earthenware are as a bowl, plate and cup with an
overturned edge, convex body and annular bottom.
3- Earthenware with golden imitation
These earthenware are dishes, on their clay covering, before baking,
colorful enamel combined of metallic oxides are applied.
Consequently, this type finds a very luminous covering after baking,
similar to golden dishes, and generally is made as bowls and
sometimes along with “Kufi” designs.
4- other group of clay-covered earthenware is those dishes, which
are dressed up by makers after clay covering and trimming with black
images and another adornment (generally in yellow). These are
prepared as bowl and plates.
Earthenware with Sprayed Enamel
This kind is
graffito of 8th century A.D. and coincides with
historical era of “Tang” in China. On those days, making of this
kind of earthenware was in practice in China, and owing to the good
relation between China and Iran, this art was adopted by Iran. These
dishes of ornamented-enamel sprayed have two species:
with sprayed enamel:
it is covered by clay enamel, then with lead enamel and dyes,
produced from metal oxide combinations, cover the dish, whether as
stain or dotted covering.
In China, they mostly used green, blue and amber-colors, but in
chinaware of Iran, in addition to these colors, they use purple as
2- Earthenware with sprayed enamel and
It is an innovation of Iranian Artisans: They dress up the
main surface, before the main enameling, by utilizing engraved
designs, and then cover dishes with main enamel.
Engraved images consist of botanic images, arabesque, scattered
lines and scarcely images of birds. Earthenware paste with sprayed
enamel mostly has a buff or red color, and the feature of pot is
spiral bottom, with convex or lengthened body.
with engraved design
Origin of this kind goes
back to Egypt, transported to Mesopotamia and Iran. Archeological
excavations, such as “Keesh” in Iraq, “Festat” in Egypt,
“Bamian” and “Lashgari” in Afghanistan and “East African
Coasts”, discharged many samples of engraved crockery.
In Iran, these engraved earthenware have divided to various
groups, such as “Amol”, “Agh
Kandu”, Shamlou” or
“Garous”, considering their
technique and make. In the first two kinds, engraved designs are
performed on the multicolor enamels, such as green, yellow or
purple; then some special spots of dish are painted. This latterly
painting would be for prevention of scattering or escape of other
colors. Afterward, the entire dish could become covered with
transparent enamel, like lead enamel.
In other kind, “Shamlou” or “Garous”, earthenware at first
is covered with white clay covering under the lead enamel; then
many spots of surface are dressed up by engraved designs.
Consequently ornaments become beautiful in feature and coloring.
In next stage, pot (or dish) is covered with green enamel or
transparent enamel of lead. They utilize, usually a green, yellow,
brown and sometimes light red color, appeared in images of
animals, birds, human being and sometimes in “Kufi”
On the background, some scroll-shaped flowers are added. External
surface of earthenware, usually has engraved design, without
enamel, in some instances covered by greenish enamel.