Nature inspired pottery decorating

 

The development of botanical and animal pottery art :  

 
 
I never cease to be captivated by the intrinsic beauty of nature. Its form, texture and graceful lines have been well represented in pottery art from the beginning. In pre dynastic Kemetic art (Egypt before the Pharaohs ), Solar-Afro-headed priestesses were often depicted in Nile riverboats . These images occur on numerous ochre-painted ceramic pots, and also appear in rock art and in a tomb murals. The pot below  shows a pair of women in a boat with plants for shade and to their left is a priestess figure performing an invocation.

 

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Egyptian  pre-dynastic Kemetic pottery

 

In Babylon, ancient Egypt and ancient Greece ceramic tile painting was widely utitilised for decorating. It was used on deck walls, ceilings, floors, murals and even on outside walls and featured both botanical and animal designs. During the New Palace period (ca. 1600 BC to 1450 BCE) of the early Minoan culture, technological advances in materials, firing at higher temperatures and faster pottery wheels, saw an evolution both in form and design. Pottery decoration with spirals and lines became less common as the central theme but remained in lesser areas such as around handles and necks. Plants and marine life now took centre stage. The Floral style most commonly depicted were slender branches with leaves and papyrus flowers.

 

Minoan Gold Ring

Minoan Gold Ring – unearthed in a burial chamber of a Minoan princess

16th – 13th centuries BC

 

The Marine style, perhaps, produced the most distinctive of all Minoan pottery with detailed, naturalistic depictions of octopuses, argonauts, starfish, triton shells, sponges, coral, rocks and seaweed. The early Minoan culture had an influence on Greek art.

From 1450 BCE a new style developed, perhaps influenced by increasing contact with the Mycenaean culture from the Greek mainland and this was predominantly found in Knossos. Typical examples were the three-handled amphora, squat alabastron vessels, goblets and unusual pieces including ritual vessels with figure of eight handles and a libation jugs covered in spiky projections. These were decorated with much more schematic representations than the previous styles. Papyrus, lilies and octopuses become  more stylised and abstract. Whilst religious motifs continue to be seen, birds appeared for the first time on pottery, as did helmets and shields.

 

MinoanDolphinVase

Minoan dolphin vase

 Although Greek pottery provided us with a wide range of shapes from cups to plates to massive amphorae, many of the forms remained relatively constant over centuries. This is primarily because Greek potters were producing wares for practical use – holding wine, water, oil and perfumes – and once the optimum practical shape had evolved, it was copied and maintained. However, despite this restriction in form, the Greek potters and painters could express their versatility in the decoration of the vase.

From the 8th century BCE, Geometric pottery decoration began to include stylized human figures, birds and animals with nearly all the surface of the vase covered in bold lines and shapes painted in brown and black.

At the end of the 5th century the Greek painters  Parrhasios and Zeuxis, introduced new painting techniques. The former is said to have used outline in new ways which achieved greater realism, and the latter used shading. This inspired new figurative styles with the pottery art.

Early European floral decoration

The Chinese K’ang-Hsi porcelain, which featured both Indian and Korean styled flowers was generally copied during the early development of the botanical decoration of European pottery. The majolica from Spain, which featured a lot of floral decoration also had a substantial input. The advancement of botanical studies, a love of realistic paintings, along with the introduction of new colours supported the creation of more local styles. The liking for bunches of flowers and the production of botanical prints led to further development of naturalistic decorations. As the use of wild-flowers on Marseilles china became popular, this also influenced the rest of Europe in the decoration of their Majolica and porcelain china.

Neo classical, Rococo, Renaissance, Chinoiserie, Baroque, Japonisme, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and most other styles of pottery all had representations of botanical and nature figures in varying degrees. Below is a mixed selection featuring nature inspired imagery.

 

 

Cathy-Reichel-Clark-Ceramics

Cathy Reichel Clark Ceramics

 

 

 

Deb Stableey Pottery

Deb Stableey Pottery

 

 

 

Finely Painted Japanese Ant

Finely Painted Japanese Plate -18th century

( Elegance Auctioneers )

 

 

475px-529px-France-Bulbous-Vase

France Bulbous Vase signed L. Berty from Vallauris Provence 20th century

 

 

 

French Majolica Sarreguemines

Birds on a turquoise vase – Sarreguemines French Majolica

 

 

 

taggerty-pottery

Taggerty Pottery

 

 

 

Italian Glazed Earthenware

Italian Majolica – red earthenware vase covered with a mottled pale blue glaze.

(  Ben Ronalds’ Collection – Queensland Museum )

 

 

 

jarrón-de-1896-Hans-Rudolf

Lavender and white Art Nouveau vase – Hans Rudolf Hentschel – 1896

 

 

 

K'ang-hsi Period Cloisonne

K’ang-hsi Period Cloisonne bottle form vase

 

 

Large austrian Amphora ceramic vase

Large Austrian Amphora ceramic vase

 

 

GERMAN-OR-FRENCH-majolica-vessel

Large French or German Majolica bowl

 

 

 

Moorcroft-vase-Deco-Drive-design

Moorcroft vase, Deco Drive design, issued 2007, designer Phillip Gibson

( Treadway )

 

 

 

Qing Cloisonne enamel

Qing Cloisonne enamel crysanthenum flowers

 

 

 

sunderland carved gourd vessel

 Carved gourd vessel – Marilyn Sunderland

 

 

 

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Carved gourd vessel – Marilyn Sunderland

 

 

 

vase with pansy flowers

Vase with poppy flowers -stained glass mosaic

( Penelope )

 

 

 

Victor ArwasnGallery Val Saint-Lambert

 Val Saint-Lambert vase

( Victor Arwas Gallery )

 

 

 

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Vintage large vase ” Treespath ”  Rudolph Lorber

Weller Pottery,  USA

 

 

 

charles-cotteau

Charles Catteau deer vase

 

 

Charles-Cotteau

Charles Catteau vase

 

 

 

Charles-Cotteau

Art Deco Vase – Charles Catteau

 

 

 

 

English-Majolica-Baroque-vase

English Majolica Baroque vase _ late 19th century

( Ruby Lane )

 

 

 

art nouveau-vase

 

Art Nouveau vase

 

 

 

Monarch by Sharon Meyer Postance

Monarch by Sharon Meyer Postance

 

 

 

French-Art-Nouveau-ceramic-vase

French Art Nouveau ceramic vase

 Lucien LevyDhurmer for Clément Massier

 

 

Amphora vase designed by Paul Dachsel

 Crysanthenum flower Amphora vase designed by Paul Dachsel

 

 

 

Amphora-vase

Amphora vase designed by Paul Dachsel

 

 

475px-376px-antique-french-ASPARAGUS-vine-leaf-plate

 Antique French asparagus vine leaf plate MAJOLICA BARBOTINE circa 1880

 

 

Antique Hand Painted French planter

Antique Hand Painted French Planter- Rouen Cornucopia

 

 

CarterDogwoodPitcher

Ben Carter – Dogwood Pitcher

 

 

Cordey-1940-Bust-Figurine

Bust Figurine – Cordey-1940

 

 

Daum

Daum Vase

 

 

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 H. Bequet Quaregnon hand painted Ewer  – Belgium

Amphora-art-nouveau

Amphora Art Nouveau vase

( Treadway – Toomey )

Neo classical porcelain lamp

 Neo classical porcelain oil lamp

( Cowans )

Beatrice-Wood-plate

Turquoise White Cat Plate with Leaves (1968) – Beatrice Wood

( The Beatrice Wood  Permanent Collection )

Doulton-vase

Doulton Vase

Pierrefonds vase

French Pierrefonds vase – crystalline glaze

( Treadway Toomey )

Rene-Buthaud-vase

Rene-Buthaud vase – large bulbous shape with stylized deer and foilage

342px-700px-Amphora-vase,-designed-by-E

Amphora vase, designed by Eduard Stellmacher

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Roussillion, France

13/1/2014 →

421x414

Weller Pottery botanical pitcher

Art-Glass-Jeffrey-Pan-313x479

Art Glass by Jeffrey Pan

Cornflower vase  Lisa Katzenstein

Cornflower vase by Lisa Katzenstein

( http://beveregallery.com )

Matt Morgan Pottery Vase

Matt Morgan Pottery Vase

( Skinner Auctions )

Tiffnay fern vase

Vase of fiddlehead ferns, 1905-15. Manufactured by Tiffany Pottery. Corona, New York.

( Scala Archives )

437x806

Pottery vase, bird & flower motif, late 19th century

( Bill Hood and Sons Auctions )

Luba Sharapan mug

Luba Sharapan mug

Julie Whitmore Pottery

Julie Whitmore Pottery

Wella Pottery vase

Weller “Glendale” Vase, Signed, McLaughlin

( Cowan’s Auctions )

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 20, 2013 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    intresting site where are you?

  2. julie bennett
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I have a glazed pottery vase with floral design from Tuerriers Murano Italy marked 340 031/1.
    Can you identify the potter please Julie

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