Comparison Series: Lessons from History

One of the greatest ways that we can learn is through history. We can understand more about a culture through its artifacts, remnants and shards. When you begin to analyze the the forms in museums or in your own home, you can broaden your definition of a particular form, style, or surface technique. Your assignment is to write a visual analysis comparing the two or three objects. This gets you thinking about what kinds of adjectives you may use, contextualize the object and to see the vessel outside the lens of the expanded field of ceramic.


Carved, Piereced, Incised Form:

Lantern for a Lamp

Object Name:  Lantern

Date: 9th–10th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran, Nishapur. Excavated in Iran, Nishapur

Medium: Earthenware; carved decoration, unglazed

Dimensions: H. 9 5/8 in. (24.5 cm) Diam. 5 7/8 in. (15 cm) Base. 4 1/2 in. (11.5 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1939

Accession Number: 39.40.87


Matt Repsher

An interest in architecture and geometric design combine in the forms and surfaces of Matt Repsher’s vessels, jars, mugs, bowls, and sculptures. From the choice of clay — a red bricklike body — to the carved ornamentation, Repsher gives a nod to these influences.

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Ibrahim Said

Egyptian born, North Carolina based artist, he is interested in expanding on forms and principles rooted in his culture: namely ancient Egyptian pottery and Islamic arts. This series of sculptures stems from his investigation of Islamic jug filters.

How does his carving differ from the previous two images?