Echoes of an Ancient Civilization

Forrest Lesch-Middelton a potter in Petaluma, Calif., makes ceramics that look like the products of an ancient civilization whose people proudly insisted on being buried with their dishware. The surfaces are mottled the decorations irregular and the tones earthy siennas and fawns. Mr. Lesch-Middelton invented a technique for transferring Islamic starbursts scrolls and flowers to the surfaces of his pots while they are still on the wheel, requiring him to shape the vessels from the inside. (He began this work in 2003, the year the United States invaded Iraq, saying he wanted to show off the artistic heritage of a culture he believed was misunderstood.)



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