Crafts of the Islamic World

Have you been searching for arts and crafts of the Islamic world? Are you looking up the Internet for Islamic arts and crafts? Then welcome to a huge, rich world of calligraphic art, ornate wall decor, dazzling glass works, rustic brassware, and colorful ceramic pottery.

Even though ‘Islamic art’ is largely religious in view of the Islamic calligraphy applied to it, it also includes items which have no religious significance such as carpets, rugs, wooden handicrafts, glassware, and brassware. These items often have geometric patterns and floral motifs which also have no religious value.

Listed here are the few categories from the otherwise large world of Islamic art:

1) Calligraphy: Calligraphy is the defining feature of Islamic art. As there was a need to transcribe and compile the Quran in the form of a book in order to preserve it for the future, different fonts of the Arabic script were developed, thus leading to the evolution of Arabic calligraphy. Because Islam prohibited human and animal imagery, new artistic fonts were developed. Calligraphy became a form of art and started being used to decorate the walls and domes of monuments, mosques, and mausoleums.

2) Miniature paintings: A miniature painting, as the name suggests, is a small little painting on paper which is meant to be used in the court. The paintings are compiled in an album called the ‘muraqqa’.Developed in 13th century Iran, miniature paintings also came to be used in other Muslim empires such as the Mughal dynasty in India. As the paintings were not meant for public viewing, religious restrictions on human and animal imagery were waived. Though the miniature paintings are not Islamic in the sense that they have no religious value, some people see them as such as they were used in the courts of Muslim rulers.

3) Rugs and carpets: Carpet-making is an age-old tradition in Muslim societies, particularly in Kashmir, Iran and Turkey. When carpets are decorated with Islamic calligraphy, they are used as wall hangings. When they are only filled with floral motifs and elaborate borders, they are used for covering floors in mosques as well as offices, hotels, and homes. Significantly, they are used for making prayer mats.

4) Ceramic pottery: Vivid ceramic plates and pots are handy items that one can decorate their walls or shelves with. The oldest pottery dates to 8th century Iraq while the Chinese influence made way through the Mongol conquests in the 13th century. Most of the pottery created in Muslim countries has dense floral motifs and patterns. Some ceramic plates are decorated with calligraphy too.

5) Brassware: Brass plates and pots, produced in parts of the Indian subcontinent, make for antique-looking artifacts that one can decorate their tables, walls or shelves with. They are mostly decorated with floral motifs.

There are many other kinds of Islamic arts and crafts like glass, silk and metal works made in different parts of the world – from the Middle East to China, India, and Indonesia. Therefore, if you are looking to buy arts and crafts of the Islamic world, be ready to be amazed by the range and variety in the field.