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Pottery of Mend (Gonabad in Razavi Khorasan)


Mend village is the only pottery-making center in the east of Iran which is located in 3km to the north of Gonabad, with approximately 1000 population. In addition to agriculture, the inhabitants of this village are occupied with brick, pottery and tile making. The antiquity of potteries in Mend backed to the 3rd millennium B.C. without a specific name until the early 12th century; however, a new form of pottery appeared in this region since then which has been called Faience Pottery. Mend potteries are similar to Meybod products in terms of motifs and their compounds are almost identical to Shahreza potteries in such a way that one can hardly recognize them. 

Pottery making in this region is carried out in two different ways of producing traditional potteries with red clay and Faience ceramic which are different in terms of components and the process of preparing the body. Faience is a kind of ceramic made of white clay. The main raw material of these kinds of ceramics is silica or flint, bentonite and kaolin. 
Bentonite and kaolin are supplied from the surrounding mines. After extracting flint, it is pounded by hammer in order to be broken into the small pieces. Clay potteries are also a verity of red clay potteries that is newer than the faience works in the region. 
They are totally handmade and wheel-made. The handmade potteries with a long history include wares such as birds, animals or wares and bulks in form of cubes, through molding from vase, thermos, etc., with relief motifs on the body. Most of Mend’s products are wheel-made, they are produced more easily and are highly popular among people because of their applicability. Underglaze painting is also popular here. Some motifs on Mend potteries are symbolic and ritual originated from people’s beliefs. The main motifs which are famous on potteries are human, animal, plant and geometric. Human motif is typically depicted on Mend’s wares as the face of a sun surrounded by lines as radius. These are among the most important potteries of Mend placed frequently at the center of the objects. Animal motifs include chicken, fish, butterfly etc., and they are painted in yellow and red. 

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