Islamic art is justly famed for its technological sophistication, varied approaches to ornament, and innovative employment of the written word.
But what do we know about the skilled artisans who spent their lives designing and creating the paintings, objects and buildings that are so admired today?
This anthology of written sources (dating from the seventh to the twentieth centuries) explores numerous aspects of the crafts of the Middle East from the processing of raw materials to the manufacture of finished artefacts.
Readers will learn about: the legal and ethical dimensions of the arts and crafts, the organisation of labour in urban and rural contexts, the everyday lives of artisans, the gendered dimensions of making things, and the impact of industrialisation upon traditional methods of manufacture.
Each chapter begins with an introduction providing a wider context for the primary sources.
There are also suggestions for further reading.