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Ancient Minoan Pottery: Contemporary Design, Timeless History

June 05, 2020

Ancient Minoan Pottery:  Contemporary Design, Timeless History


The Island of Crete, Home to Beauty, History & Contemporary Dinnerware Design

Minoan pottery is another ancient craft, reflecting history, the values of a culture, astonishingly contemporary design and a deep commitment to beauty, symmetry and nature.  

However, where the beauty of Talavera traveled across countries and cultures, the fine art of Minoan pottery stayed largely within its home on the Crete Island.  Instead, this beautiful handcraft evolved over millennium into different periods of design, each reflecting the cultural influences of its time.

The Minoan pottery of Greece, found on the beautiful island of Crete, is a story of over three thousand years of evolving design and cultural sensitivity. Aficionados will see centuries-old dinnerware, plates and tableware that reflect the beauty and colors of nature, symmetry and functionality.

Rustica Gift Minoan Pottery Making History

For a concise overview regarding the history and beauty of this fine pottery, we recommend reading journalist and historian Mark Cartwright's excellent entry in the Ancient History Encyclopedia:  Minoan Pottery.

The Minoans were a Bronze Age Agean civilization, dating from 3,000 B.C. to their eventual decline and disappearance in 1,100 B.C. It is believed a volcanic eruption contributed to their disappearance, although there is some mystery around the demise of this culture.

In brief, Minoan pottery is into three main periods, with very distinct design approaches.  Across these three design periods, however, the focus on graceful and functional construction and a natural color palette of terracota, white, red and black remains evident.  The Minoan artistry reflects a love of flowing, natural shapes and also of nature:  many of their earliest pieces reflect birds and animals.

To learn more about the three essential periods of early Minoan pottery-making, please visit our History page.



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