Bring a piece of history into your home with Armenian ceramic pottery.
The medium of ceramic pottery and art as well as Armenian ceramics date back to many centuries ago and walking through Jerusalem's Old City quarters is like walking through a time machine. There are Armenian pottery shops all over Jerusalem in which you can see artists at work and masterpieces of pottery ware, tiles and ornaments with traditional motifs such as views of Jerusalem, ornamental flowers, animal and bird motifs, pomegranates and grapevines and cherubs. There is a great demand by a Jewish, Arab-Muslim and Christian customers for ceramic pieces with the traditional motifs mixed with the relevant belief systems' themes in which public and private buildings, homes and places of worship and gardens are decorated. Armenian ceramics consist of fine art pottery which are called ceramics more specifically and crafts pottery which include items that can be used to store water, food or used as household or business serving items.
Ceramic art is an ancient industry which dates back to 24 000 BC. When man discovered that clay could be dug up and formed into objects by mixing it with water and then firing it in kilns the world changed. About 10 000 years later when settled communities were formed, tiles were manufactured in Mesopotamia and India. The first functional use of pottery as vessels for food and water storage came about in about 9000/10 000 BC. Hobby ceramics burst onto the scene during the Great Depression and since then people produce pottery for leisure and fun and create items which can be decorative and useful at the same time.
Armenian pottery originated in Turkey and today the authentic Armenian ceramic creation is mainly found in Jerusalem. Master artisans of Iznik and ancient Nicaea were famous in the 15th and 16th century and influenced the Armenian artists with elegant pottery ware. Armenian pottery reached its peak in production in 18th century which was a tranquil time for the Armenians in Turkey. Armenians, being devoted Christians, never forgot about Jerusalem and produced tiles and decorative articles to beautify churches in Jerusalem. Most Armenians moved to Jerusalem in the 20th century after the persecution in Turkey so most of this industry is found in Jerusalem today where they continue the ancient heritage of their ancestors. The most exquisite Armenian work in Jerusalem can be found in the old British Mandate government houses, the tiled foundations of Beth Shalom in the Talbiyah, the courtyard of St Andrew's Scottish Church and the wall tiles and ceramic vases in the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem.
The Armenian ceramic industry has boomed as a tourist relic upon visiting Jerusalem and many Jewish, Muslim and Christian people are buying this pottery and decorative art. It is one of those things people like to collect like traditional Chinese porcelain sets to become family heirlooms and represent history. The Armenians have maintained their hand painted techniques as well as the typical colors of blue, yellow, green, turquoise and red. Mosaic tiles to hanging ornaments, to tables and mirrors to plates, bowls, jugs, goblets, mugs, bottles and vases in different sizes, to bells, incense holders, ashtrays, Judaica items and so much more are available with all the traditional motifs and designs which symbolize the power and oneness of G-d.
Browse this wonderful gallery to find all the beautiful pottery ware and items as well as Judaica pieces, designed with traditional Armenian motifs with a Jewish touch.