Ornament as an art has existed for many thousands of years. It is considered to be one of the most ancient forms of human visual expression. Ornament is a crucial part of such form of decoration as arabesque that has been widely used in Islamic architecture throughout the ages. However, ornament in Islamic art functions not only as a decoration. Patterns and colors used in ornament often convey symbolical meaning, which could be understood only by people of Islamic cultural background. Ornament has absorbed many unique and representative features of the outlook of Islamic people such as prevalence of the divine and admiration for beauty of the universe created by Allah. Ornament has played an important role not only in architecture, book painting, carpet weaving, but also in many other fields of art, particularly in metals work.
The goal of this thesis is to blend the contemporary and classical history of Islamic art in order to create several metal art forms that have Islamic motifs and Arabic calligraphies.
Various current techniques and equipment such as laser cut technology, etching, chasing, and forging were present in my work to create metal pieces. Techniques such as etching, chasing, and forging have a very ancient history; others such as laser cutting are relatively recent inventions. CAD software was used to create a design for my thesis work which consists of different types of Islamic ornament and Arabic calligraphies that come from different ages of Islamic art.
To sum up, ornament in Islamic art is a unique way of visual expression with a long history. Ornament has played on important role in all fields of Islamic art.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Art metal-work--Themes, motives; Art metal-work--Technique; Islamic art and symbolism
Metals and Jewelry Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CIAS)
Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez
Liaung Chung Yen
Alharbi, Amani, "Zakrafah: Ornament in Islamic Style" (2015). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus