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Handmade Tiles in the Traditional Persian Style
8-Session Evening Course

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Evening Studio Arts Course

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K00XQ
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The Persian culture is widely recognized as having one of the richest and most varied art legacies in history. In particular, Persian ceramic tile art is a wonderful example of their heritage, with exquisite ceramic tile murals that adorn public spaces, palaces, and places of worship from ancient to contemporary times. In an illustrated lecture, students view beautiful examples of these tiles held in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection as they learn about this historic art form.

Whether intricate and colorful or elegantly monochromatic, with floral, animal, calligraphic or geometric elements, Persian designs added to the beauty and uniqueness of a space. Guided by instructor Alfredo Ratinoff, students learn the technical aspects of tile-making including concepts of ceramic tile design, carving methods, the use of ceramic under glazes and clear glazing techniques and mural installation while creating their own Persian-inspired designs.

Persian patterns are available for easy reproduction on tile by students or students may create their own Persian-inspired designs with instructor guidance.

No previous drawing or painting experience is necessary to enjoy the full benefit of this class. The cost of basic color glazes, clay to make up to six tiles, and firings is included. Additional supplies are discussed in class.

Ratinoff is a ceramic tile artist with over thirty years of experience creating and designing large scale ceramic tile murals. His works are on display in public buildings in the U.S. and Europe.

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8 sessions, 2 1/2 hours each

Smithsonian Connections

The Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art houses a variety of Persian tiles. To see examples, visit the Freer’s Arts of the Islamic World exhibition.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
Room 3040
1100 Jefferson Drive, S.W.
Metro: Smithsonian (Blue/Orange Lines)