Faience Ceramic

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Egyptian Faience Ceramic

It is not quite right to refer to faience as a "turquoise imitation" because genuine, ancient faience is worth more than its weight in gold!

Faience, often called Egyptian faience in honor of the nation of its creation, is a quartz-based ceramic. The technology of faience ceramic making is believed to date back to 3500 B.C.  This is impressive, as glass was invented perhaps 1000 years later!

Many different kinds of faience art pieces were made over the years, including beads for jewelry-making.  By adding ground copper, malachite, blue azurite and talc, the Egyptians  were able to create beautiful blue-green shades reminiscent of turquoise.  The craft persons were also able to create pieces closely resembling another semi-precious stone, lapis.  Although faience  was less expensive than turquoise, it had great cultural value and significance to the Egyptian people.

Over the years, faience has waxed and waned in popularity.  For example, toward the end of the 1800s, faience was a reclaimed craft in Britain, France and other parts of the world, producing pieces that are today valuable antiques.  Even now, a search on Froogle reveals many faience pieces for sale, some claimed to be ancient.

There are contemporary pottery makers working in the faience tradition, but we know of no one making faience turquoise replacement pieces on a commercial scale.  It would be possible to do so.  The Bead Site, a site devoted to the scholarly study of beadwork, reports on one contemporary bead maker who was able to replicate many of the ancient Egyptian faience pieces.  In a 1998 article published in Magazine Antiques, Florence Dunn Friedman describes her team's rather successful efforts at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design to rediscovery the ancient Egyptians' techniques.


 

TURQUOISE BASICS

Origins of  "Turquoise"
Gemstone Properties

How Turquoise Forms
Color Range
Turquoise Matrix
Natural Turquoise
Treated Turquoise
Turquoise Birthstone

WHERE TURQUOISE
IS FOUND

Australia
China
Egypt
Iran
Mexico
United States
Other Locations

VARIATIONS

Eilat Stone
Faustite Turquoise
White Buffalo Turquoise

FORMS

Beads
Cabochons
Chips and Nuggets

IMITATIONS

African Turquoise

Block Turquoise

Faience Ceramic
Howlite Turquoise

Natural Imposters

Polymer Clay
Utah Turquoise
Vienna Turquoise

TURQUOISE
JEWELRY CARE

Care, Cleaning and Storage

 


Mosaics
Sculptures
Functional Art
 


Books About Turquoise

 

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