Turquoise Mountain

Afghanistan

Afghanistan was once a great centre of civilisation at the heart of the Silk Road. It inherited the traditions of India, Persia and Central Asia and blended them into a unique artistic culture. Turquoise Mountain has transformed Murad Khani, a district of the old city in Kabul, from slum conditions into a vibrant cultural, educational and economic hub. Having trained over 450 artisans in traditional arts, we are proud to support young Afghan women and men to make beautiful, unique and hand-crafted pieces of Afghan art. One of the traditions that Turquoise Mountain has revived is the craft of Istalifi pottery. With a four hundred year old tradition of being handed down from father toSon; Istalifi pottery is produced using kick-wheels, local clay and glazes made from the roots of indigenous Afghan plants. Only one family still produces this pottery using the traditional techniques. Come and see Matin, the head of this family and a master potter, demonstrating his throwing skills on a kick wheel and hear his story first hand. Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan presents the revived neighborhood of Murad Khani in Old Kabul, as well as the practices of young Afghan artisans in jewelry making, woodworking, calligraphy, ceramics and rug making, open through January 2017 at the Smithsonian's Freer/Sackler on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
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