Tulliallan Demonstrator - Zahed Taj-Eddin

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The Syrian sculptor, Zahed Taj-Eddin is a polymath, an artist, archeologist and scientist, whose sculptural practice operates across many disciplines.  His fascination with ancient technology led him to study and practice a variety of specialties including ceramics, glass making and metal casting alongside work as a conservator.  He also has degrees in Chemistry, Fine Art, an MA in Archeology and PhD in Archeological Science and Sculptural Practice.  This multi-disciplinary expertise comes together to inform Zahed's artwork, which often employs ancient techniques and materials to explore important contemporary social issues with meticulous craftmanship and precise scientific methods.

Having started his further education in Aleppo, Syria, Zahed was able to carry on his studies for an MA and PhD in London where he still lives.  One of his working materials he will be demonstrating at Tulliallan is the use of Egyptian Faience a material many of us are unfamiliar with.


This enigmatic, ancient ceramic material has been descibed as 'the first high tech ceramic'.  In a broad definition it is a kind of ceramic that contains a body of sintered crushed quartz coated with alkaline glaze on the surface.  However, the material is virtually clay-free.  Faience is remarkable in that it is made from the simplest raw materials, namely crushed desert sand and pebbles, combined with small amounts of desert plant ahes or salts from dried-up lakes.  Through the addition of minor amounts of colouring oxides to the recipe, ancient craftsmen produced a luminescent material equal in appearance to semi-precious stones such as turquoise and lapis lazuli.  Faience was regarded in the ancient world as a luxury item and ranked by the elite next to gold.

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