Terracotta – Unique Jordanian Handmade Pottery – تيراكوتا

“Terracotta” – Latin for Baked Clay – was created to revive Arabic calligraphy in a more modernized version, making each piece of ceramic a creative object and a heaven for the lovers of this beautiful art. I had the chance to interview Ensherah, the manager of Terracotta at their workshop in Amman. This is the story behind Terracotta and how their wonderful pieces come to life.

 

Dear Ensherah, you are the manager of Terracotta, a unique pottery business in Jordan that creates beautiful dishes, bowls, plates and alike. Please introduce yourself.
انشراح انتِ مديرة و مالكة تراكوتا ، و هو عمل فخاري فريد من ن و موعه في الاردن  يقوم بصناعة الاطباق و الصحون و الاواني الفخاريةا شابه ، قدمي لنا نفسك.
I am Ensherah Shaban, I started my interest in Art since my childhood , I grew up in an artistic environment, my brothers are fine artists and one of them is specialized in ceramic, they encouraged me to join The Salt center for traditional crafts to learn the profession of ceramic, and there where my career really started. Then I worked for Silsal Design House as a production employee until I became a production manager.
انا انشراح شعبان ، بدء اهتمامي بالفن منذ طفولتي حيث نشات في بيئة فنية و لدي اخواني فنانيين تشكليين و واحد منهم متخصص بالسيراميك ، حيث شجعوني الى الانضمام لمركز السلط للحرف التقليدية لتعلم الخزف و هناك بدء مشواري فعليا.
بعد ذلك عملت بدار صلصال للتصميم كموظفة انتاج حتى اصبحت مديرة انتاج.

 

How did you start your business Terracotta? Who are you working with?

كيف بدأتِ عملك ” تراكوتا” ؟ و مع من انتِ تعملين؟ 
When the owners of Silsal Design House decided to close their branch in Jordan I bought the production part to continue this art and that’s who Terracotta was born. I’m working with a team of artists that each one of them has a specific role in this art?
عندما قرر مالكي صلصال اغلاق فرعهم بالاردن قمت بشراء قسم الانتاج حتى يستمر هذا الفن وكان “تراكوتا”
اعمل مع فريق من الفنانين الذي يمتاز كل واحد منهم بدوره الخاص في صناعة هذا الفن.

 

Tell us about the items you create and what they are used for?

اخبرينا قليلا عن القطع التي تقومين بانتاجها و لماذا تستخدم؟
Our products in general can be used in more than one way, we have pieces to serve food and drinks and we have pieces for decoration.
منتجاتنا بشكل عام يمكن ان تستخدم بأكثر من طريقة او استخدام حيث يوجد لدينا اواني لتقديم الطعام و الشراب و لدينا
ايضا قطع لتزيين.

 

 

All of your items have a wonderful decoration mainly with Arabic writing on it. Are the fonts also a creation of you and/or your designers?

جميع القطع الخاصة بك لديها زخرفة رائعة خاصة مع الكتابة العربية عليها، هل انتِ من قام بصنع هذه الخطوط و/ او مصمميك؟ 
Arabic calligraphy has many types , there are ” Tholoth” font, ” Kofi “, ” Dewani ” and many others, but we choose the proper font on the proper shape in discussion with the whole team.
الخط العربي فيه الكثير من الانواع و الاشكال منه خط الثلث و الكوفي و الديواني و الكثير ، لكن نختار الخط المناسب على الشكل المناسب و ذلك بالتعاون مع كامل الفريق.

 

 

What is the meaning and inspiration for the inscriptions?

ما هو المعنى و الالهام من النقوش و الزخرفات؟ 
In Terracotta we choose nice words or phrases that have a positive impact on who can see or read it.
نقوم في تراكوتا باختيار كلمات او جمل لطيفة ذات تأثير ايجابي على من يستطيع رؤيتها او قرائتها.
Tell us something about your favorite item and why you like it.
 
اخبرينا عن القطعة المفضلة لديكي و لماذا تعجبك؟ 
 
Each piece of Terracotta’s products has a love story with me, definitely all the pieces have the same level of my love to it, each piece is like son to me because it has passed difficult stages until it came out in this form of art and creativity.
كل قطعة من منتجات تراكوتا لها حكاية عشق عندي ، فبالتأكيد جميع القطع لها نفس المستوى من عشقي لها فكل واحدة منها كإبن لي لانها مرت بمراحل صعبة حتى خرجت بهذا الشكل و الفن والابداع.
Do you have some new ideas for expansions or special events coming up?

هل لديكي بعض الافكار الجديدة للتوسع او مناسبات خاصة قادمة؟

Of course, you always find a continuous innovation during the year, holiday seasons, Ramadan month, and mothers day and a lot of other occasions. Every season we are ready for something new.
بالطبع دائما تجد لدينا تجديد مستمر خلال العام ، مواسم الاعياد و شهر رمضان و عيد الام و الكثير من المناسبات ، فكل موسم نكون مستعدين لما هو جديد.
Where can one buy your creations?
أين يمكن للمرء شراء منتجاتك؟
Visit our exhibition at Tla’a Al Ali Sarya al kilani street, and you can find us on Facebook and Instagram at @Terracotta_jo. You can find their products also at Zawayed on Abdali Boulevard or at Al Aydi, Jordan Craft Center, near 2nd Circle.
يمكنكم دائما زيارة معرضنا في منطقة تلاع العلي شارع سارية الكيلاني ، و يمكنكم متابعتنا على فيسبوك و انستجرام على Terracotta_jo@
Thank you very much for the interview. I wish you all the best and great success for your business. I also would like to thank you for the wonderful plate that you gave as a gift to me! Alif Shukran! Fursa Saida!
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If you would like to know the process behind these wonderful pieces, read on.
  • First the items are usually created on a wheel by a special artist who is a professional with this
  • Then the items are burnt in an oven for the first time at about 900 degree Celsius.
  • Then the items are glazed
  • After this the Calligraphy Artist draws the inscriptions with a pencil
  • Then the items are cleaned in the area where no color should be visible. It is the approach of negative design. Where it is not cleaned, the color will still be visible.
  • The last step is a second burn in the oven at about 1100 degree Celsius. This gives the items more strength and stability. It is also safe to put them in the microwave or dishwasher.

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