The pottery is one of the oldest and the most popular art. Clay modeling skills have been passed down from generation to generation. For centuries, the plasticity of forms, the simplicity and modesty of the material, was the reason for the new flourishing and popularity of ceramics now. Ceramics has its own expressive means: first, plastic, an endless variety of shapes and textures of smooth, glossy, polished to a shine, rough uneven, as well as richness of color with various combinations of matte and glazed surfaces.

The works of Turkmen ceramists are distinguishing by the originality of compositions and forms, bright picturesque silhouettes, the ability of artists to use colored glaze in their own way, as well as skillfully use plot images and rich ornamentation of national decor.  All these achievements are successfully developed and improved, not limited to mastering the achievements of their mentors, but young representatives of the ceramic art of Turkmenistan are looking for new ways.

A prominent representative of young ceramic art is Gulara Babayeva, a lecturer at the Department of National Arts of the State Academy of Arts of Turkmenistan.  In the work of the young artist is specifically observe the connection between folk art and traditions.  She creates various types of ceramic products, such as household items, decorative interior decoration, ceramic sculptures, as well as children’s toys that act as independent small-form easel sculptures, which she often refers. The artist is interested with Turkmen poetry, history and the fairy-tale world, which inspires her to create original works: the Battle of Gokdepe (2007), Lovers (2008), National Heritage (2008), Heritage. Keeping History (2013), Heritage.  Goddess (2013), Flowers (2014), Nephritis (2015), Sport (2015), Preparation for wedding (2015), etc. Correct understanding of the specifics of ceramic art, skillful use of technical means, we see all this not in separate things, but in a whole collection of works by the artist, created in just a small segment of her career.

Gulara teaches his mentors with enthusiasm and the manifestation of sufficient knowledge in this area in the complex and time-consuming process of making ceramic works.  Young students successfully work with various types of glazes, engobe, combine artistic techniques for decorating products – engraving, painting, and relief.  At the same time, students avoid unnecessary complexity, try, according to their skills, to achieve the integrity and expressiveness of objects.

According to G. Babaeva, in order to create a work of ceramics, an artist at first, needs three necessary things “clay, imagination and warmth of hands”, after which these wonderful creations are born.  Under the guidance of Gulara, students work a lot and fruitfully on the creation of new forms, the technical development of materials and machine tools.  Along with the use of an improved potter’s wheel, they use stamping and casting in plaster molds to achieve the most precise and ideal shapes of various jugs and decorative vessels.  Having gone through this whole complex process of learning and working in the material, ceramics begin an independent life, being an adornment of our life.

The ceramics of Gulara Babayeva show that not only old artistic traditions are developing in the Turkmen national arts, but also a lot of work is being done to create new samples of ceramic works.



Lecturer at the Department of “Art Criticism”
State Academy of art of Turkmenistan.


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