Art From The Past

Mayan Art for the Home


Few pieces of art have survived the jungle weather of Central America. Wood rots and metals rust in the heat and humidity. Stone buildings and ceramics have survived, and many of them have been put in museum displays. They are not for sale and cannot be bought for decorative purposes. This does not mean people cannot have these art objects in their homes. They must rely on replicas instead of original art pieces. While the value is not quite the same, the decoration is just as beautiful as the original.

The Mayan artists were excellent carvers. One of their most beautiful art forms is ceramic bowls. Some of these were stained, others were intricately carved. Reproducing these pieces, especially carved bowls, can be an expensive proposition. Not even laser printing to do the carving is low cost. The details put into these works of art were many, and the bowls were very ornate. Alternative methods of reproduction must be used to produce copies for home decoration.

Textured bowls that were carved and then fired are an exquisite example of the time taken to produce them. Artists within this ancient culture had the time and were willing to put in the effort. One of the few civilizations to sign their work, the Mayans took pride in their craft and made pieces that were usable works of art. They produced bowls that were as beautiful to look at as they were useful in everyday life. Time is money in the modern world and many artists do not have the time to produce items in this manner.

Modern production of art and reproduction of ancient originals requires innovation. The ceramic bowls can easily be shaped by using preset forms and molds. It is not cost-effective to do the carving on the bowl, even with machines. It is much easier and less costly to print glass transfers and use them for decoration. Modern graphics can simulate the carvings and make a smooth piece look as if it was carved. This helps keep down the cost of these beautiful items while making them available for home use.