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Islamic Ceramics

             In the late seventh century a cohesive religious, political and social culture was established in Mesopotamia which fueled the growth of trade and industry. The acceptance of Muhammad as a prophet and the Qur"an as the word of God lead to the unification of a vast nation. The religious following paved the way for a new government which in turn paved the way for new industry and trade. Trade grew to new levels when the exchange of goods with China by both land and sea put Islamic people in touch with a different culture. At this time Islamic art was still very primitive and trade with China opened up many new doors. Chinese pottery had a significant impact on Islamic pottery for many centuries. The Tang dynasty inspired Islamic potters to create a stone-paste body that would resemble the white translucency of the Chinese material. The Song porcelain and the blue-and-white Ming ware also stimulated two more waves of change in Islamic pottery. Islamic faith did not condone the use of figural images in art and because of this we see a wide variety of geometric designs and patterns. Due to this fact many artist started using the religious sayings of the Qur"an in their work. This began the movement of calligraphic script. The trade industry brought about a great transformation in Islamic pottery and no matter how strong foreign influence seems to be Islamic potters adapted and used many forms and designs for their own use. Two great characteristics of .
             Islamic pottery are the decorations which reflect on religious influences and the functionality of the most practical forms.
             During the late fifteenth century a great change took place in Islamic pottery. The Ottoman Empire had become a major place of production and this great change in style and material can be contributed to Iranian potters. The Iznik ware, a white-bodied pottery, made a ideal ground for painting. At this time a change is also made in the decoration of the new Iznik ware.

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