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Arts & Crafts of the Islamic Lands

Principles • Materials • Practice

Khaled Azzam


A vital resource for craftspeople who seek to engage with the thriving world of Islamic arts and crafts


This book celebrates the thriving world of Islamic arts and crafts, as well as presenting the rich cultural, philosophical and historical heritage that contemporary artists and craftspeople still draw on today. Based on decades of research and expertise, and written by tutors at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, one of the world’s leading schools for the study of the traditional crafts of the East and West, it provides unparalleled access to a glorious range of techniques, methods, materials and skills.

The book is organized into three chapters. The first explores the fundamental principles of Islamic arts and crafts: geometry, islimi and calligraphy. The second introduces widely used materials and tools, including pigments, gesso panels, gilding equipment, brushes, pens and paper

The third provides fully illustrated step-by-step guides to the crafting of artefacts and artworks, including Kufic calligraphy, plaster carving, Mughal and Persian miniature painting, parquetry, ceramics, mosaic and glassblowing. The history and significance of the techniques and materials used are explained, accompanied by numerous illustrations of masterworks found throughout the Islamic world.

This comprehensive and accessible volume, packed with over 1,000 images, and connecting cultural history with modern practice, is a vital reference and practical resource for craftspeople, artists and students from all cultural backgrounds who seek to engage with the Islamic world.

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Further Details


Format: PLC (with jacket)

Size: 24.5 x 22.0 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Publication date: 9 September 2013

ISBN: 9780500517024

Contents List

Introduction by Khaled Azzam • Part 1: Principles i. Geometry: Introduction to Geometry • Order in Nature • Proportion • Shapes, Grids and Patterns • ii. Islimi: Introduction to Islimi • iii.Calligraphy • Introduction to Arabic Calligraphy • Part 2: Materials and Preparation Traditional Pigments • Gesso Panels • Gilding • Brush and Wasli Paper for Mughal and Persian Miniature • Painting • Hassan • Part 3: Methods and Techniques Kufic Calligraphy • Plaster Carving • Mughal and Persian Miniature Painting • Parquetry • Ceramic Plates • Ceramic Tiles • Mosaic • Glassmaking • Notes • Endmatter

About the Author

Khaled Azzam is Director of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts.

The Prince's School of Traditional Arts was founded in London in 2004 by HRH The Prince of Wales to develop the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts programme pioneered by Professor Keith Critchlow.

List of Contributors

The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, Ririko Suzuki, Keith Critchlow, Paul Marchant, Jonathan Horning, Adam Williamson, Nassar Mansour, David Cranswick, Mark Mills, Fatima Zahra Hassan, Mamdouh Sakr, Tom Bree, Simon Trethewey, David Feuerstein, Martin Birk Moller