The Mihrab shows the faithful the direction facing Mecca, which is a vital part of their religion. j The stunning tile work and craftsmanship of the mosques is quite breathtaking. This is a photo of the lovely blue mihrab, facing Mecca. Finally, the minaret is a feature of a mosque that is a tower placed high above the mosque which allows a person to literally call the people to prayer. Muslims who are fully practicing their faith pray five times at intervals throughout the day. The may pray at home or in a mosque but they must hold their commitment to prayer.
Islamic design includes many techniques such as tracery, intarsia, marquetry, tile work, carving and the list goes on. The combinations of techniques at times is overwhelming to the senses as so many things are together in one design. One feature that I found so interesting from the Pile text is referencing that ” a characteristic of Islamic design is the avoidance of any depiction of human, animal or plant forms as elements of design or decoration, as required by the teaching of the Koran.” This led to the development of a purely geometric design format which would include calligraphy using texts from the Koran or other religious works. I feel this is significant in understanding the culture and how they view the world.
Important designs from the past:
Egyptian: Stools were the most common items of furniture in Egyptian homes, and it was the Egyptians who invented the folding stool. Since these were much used by army commanders in the field, they became a status symbol, and were often heavily carved and decorated. High backed chairs are seen in many paintings. These were supplemented with cushions for comfort. Both stools and chairs commonly had woven rush seats, which have long since disintegrated.src=”https://alliepuppo.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/egyptian-stool.jpg” alt=”egyptian-stool” width=”242″ height=”181″ class=”alignright size-full wp-image-502″ />
Greece: The curved, tapered legs of the klismos chair sweep forward and rearward, offering stability. The rear legs sweep continuously upward to support a wide concave backrest like a curved tablet, which supports the sitter’s shoulders, or which may be low enough to lean an elbow on. The seat was built of four wooden turned staves, morticed into the legs; a web of cording or leather strips supported a cushion or a pelt. The klismos was a specifically Greek invention, without detectable earlier inspiration.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klismos The Klismos is one of the most enduring designs of all time with interpretations based on the chair still in use and production today.
Rome: The curule chair was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory, with curved legs forming a wide X; it had no back, and low arms. Although often of luxurious construction, the Roman curule was meant to be uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time. The curule chair was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory, with curved legs forming a wide X; it had no back, and low arms. Although often of luxurious construction, the Roman curule was meant to be uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time. Possibly inspired by the inventions of the Egyptian folding stools.
Middle Ages: The most important piece of furniture was the chest. The portability of the chest along with it’s practicality made it the one thing you really could not do without. Made of wood with intarsia and marquetry it was often hinged with ironwork and held valuables of the family. Still used today as a treasure chest and model for the safe and eventually the dresser. http://www.greydragon.org/furniture/laneham/chest1-06.jpg
Spain: Ranging in time from the mid-1200’s to 1600, furniture of this style is vigorous, masculine, and even barbarous. Typical pieces were richly carved, painted, gilded, and inlaid with ivory in a Moorish manner. They used metal supports and ornamentations, nail heads, and chip or gouge carving techniques. Still used today as you can see in the ad here.