Siba Sahabi makes the connection between Mesopotamia, the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of the pottery turntable and primary inspiration for the designer, and Western ceramics with her new collection of felt vessels, ‘Between Two Rivers’.
‘Between Two Rivers’ is the ancient Greek translation of the ancient land of Mesopotamia, which is located between rivers. The pottery turntable, a device that aided potters to design circular objects more accurately and faster, was invented in 3500 BC in Ur, an ancient Mesopotamian city-state located in modern Iraq.
Around 2200 BC the turntable was introduced in Greece and sparked a new style of Greek ceramics called Minyan pottery which Siba has reinterpreted in her felt sculptures.
A circular, ribbed finish is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Minyan ware which reflects its production process on a potter’s turntable. Although the turntable no longer plays a significant role in the production of modern large-scale pottery today, the appearance of hand-turned ceramics is often imitated by producing circular shapes with fine ridges.
Launched during WinterSALON/ 2013 in Amsterdam, ‘Between Two Rivers’ is a collection of 10 felt vessels. The objects from the collection consist of a series of carafes and cups, made from coiled coloured felt strips (3mm thick) coated with a layer of paint on both sides. “In this way, each object shows three colours: the original colour of the felt (surface of the ridges), the inside, and outside of the objects. The dense felt material beautifully translates the heavy appearance of the Minyan ware and exaggerates the appearance of the oversized objects, some of which are up to 50cm high.” says Sahabi. Photos: Lisa Klappe.