Excerpts from an article by Aimee Cary-Webb, published in
"The Jerusalem Times", May 26, 1995.
winding Armenian Patriarchate Road in the walled Old City of
Jerusalem, just beyond the Patriarchate and across the
street from the convent, is the Armenian Art Centre.
Inside, the work of the Sandrouni family surrounds
visitors. Tiles, plates, placards, cups and vases with
intricate floral and animal designs lay seige to the eyes of
the beholder. George Sandrouni took "The Jerusalem Times"
behind the scenes to tell the story of his family's
involvement in the pottery business.
The Sandrouni brothers
Armenian Art Centre in 1983 to display the works of Armenian
artists, potters and craftsmen. Gradually they began to
produce pottery themselves and the centre has become a
gallery for the Sandrouni art work. Harout Sandrouni, a
civil engineer by profession, spent two years in Australia
working in ceramics and learning the technical aspects of
pottery. He then returned to Jerusalem to share his
knowledge with his brothers. George
has taken on the task of designing. His inspiration comes
from many sources: "Everything from murals, carpets, old
tiles and modern graphics and designs inspire me. Basically
anything I can get my hands on." These range from old
Armenian manuscripts with mythical designs to Ottoman and
Persian influences. Much of
the floral and geometric patterns that George produces are
influenced by Ottoman works while the figurative designs are
influenced by Persian and Armenian art. The
process of producing a design begins with an inspiration.
George said, "The idea itself may take month. I have an
inspiration, I research it, think about it; I call this the
fermentation period. Once I have decided exactly what I
want the design to look like, it takes approximately two
weeks to produce." George explained the birth of one
design. The inspiration was the Picasso's neo-classical
put the lovers in a Persian context, redesigning their
apparel and background. After
George produces the design, he makes several copies on
tracing paper, then he perforates the design so that it is a
stencil. The stencil is placed on a piece of pottery and
dusted with charcoal. After the design is roughly in place,
it is painted. Each
piece has its own style. Some of the designs are done
entirely freehand, while others are partially or completely
traced. The paints are oxides suspended in water that are
mixed in the shop. After the painting is complete, the
piece is glazed. The glaze is also in a water suspension.
It is stirred to disperse the glaze and the pottery is
dipped for a few seconds. When the piece dries, a white
powder film remains on the pottery. After firing in the
kiln, the powder turns into glass, giving the pottery a
shiny coating. The firing process also heightens the colors
on the pottery giving them a deeper and more brilliant
everything is hand produced, and they have a small work
force, the Sandrounis feel that mass production is not for
them. Quality control is very important and the workshop
has a certain steady pace.
& Dorin Sandrouni P.O.Box: 14189 |
Zip Code: 91141 Jerusalem
| Tel: 00972-2-6263744
Original Sandrouni Ceramics
are only sold
in The New Gate,
and through this official website.