Ideology:Souk in Cairo evokes the atmosphere of the bustling souks or market bazaars of Cairo, Egypt, such as the Khan El-Khalili, where Dr Iskandar had spent many hours browsing through. He recalled these flea markets teeming with people and wares – with clay and copper vessels stacked high and jostling with other exotic treasures and trinkets.
Fitted with a water-tap and resting on a 3-legged stand, this vessel derives its function from traditions of clay pots storing and dispensing water found in many cultures. The alkalinity of clay was thought to neutralise the acidity of certain waters and further cool waters to ideal temperatures in hot climates. In Egypt, the clay olla was sometimes referred to as the ‘poor man’s fridge and water purifier’.
This full-bellied pot with its snug lid and earthy colours, exudes a nurturing, affirming air. The surface of its bulbous body is embellished with bands of incised patterns. The upper three rows feature the herringbone pattern while lower bands have slanted ‘s’ lines. This rich embellishment effect the sense of the labyrinth of lanes and alleys of the Cairo souk.
Detail of Work:Year created : 2015-16
Weight : 3kg
Dimension : H 26 x 26 x 26 cm (vessel), H 25.5 x 20 x 19 cm (stand)
Technical Info:Wheel thrown
High-fired at 1300ºC, reduction gas-firing
Material:Stoneware (clay from Lombok, Indonesia)
Glaze:Sprayed tenmoku, iron oxide, cobalt and barium glazes
Seal:17 sakura motif, c.1990s
(1 on the top shoulder, 1 at the base and 15 all around the lower body)