Through the ten sculptural felt vessels of ‘Between Two Rivers’, Siba Sahabi makes the connection between Mesopotamia’s pottery innovations and the development of Western ceramics culture. Mesopotamia, the area between rivers Tigris and Euphrates, is considered the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of the pottery turntable, which used to aid potters in designing circular objects more accurately and faster. Around 2200 BC this invention was introduced in Greece and sparked a new style of Greek ceramics called Minyan pottery. In this project, Siba reinterprates this style to create her felt sculptures.

The circular, ribbed finish is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Minyan ware and reflects its production process on the potter’s turntable. Although the latter no longer plays a significant role in the production of modern large-scale pottery, the appearance of hand-turned ceramics is often imitated by producing circular shapes with fine ridges. The collection comprises a series of carafes made from coiled colored felt strips, coated with a layer of paint on both sides. This way, each object shows three colors: the original color of the felt (on the surface of the ridges) and the colors 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.

Images © Lisa Klappe