We all have seen them already in many places, especially on beaches: bottles and jars with colored sand. Mainly like rainbows. But what I have seen in Petra is definitely another story and REAL art. Complete pictures made of natural colored sand in a narrow and small bottles. How do they do that?
When I saw them the first time I just had an odd look in my face, unbelieving. The second I started to think how is it possible to make a perfect picture even from a photo in a narrow bottle? The colors are obviously from the multicolored sand rocks that is found everywhere in Petra and which makes the city so unique.
In one place through Petra our guide stopped and we could observe a Bedouin man (that made me think of the people at times of Jesus) how to do this incredible work.
He puts a little sand of a background color and then slowly other colored sand in the jar. Every new color with a thin stick or funnel he ‘paints’ the parts of that color in the picture. He continues till the image is ready and then fills up the bottle with the ‘background’ color before closing it. From camels to landscapes to faces from photos there is no limit for depicting with sand.
Doing some research and asking people there I found out that this sand art was born in Petra in the beginning of last century, when local people started to use the different colors of sand to do some arts in recycled jars. The first picture jar found its way from Aqaba to England in 1922. Since then slowly it started to be a market and many artists now – mainly Bedouins – do this art.
I didn’t buy such a beautiful bottle as I am a minimalist and don’t like anything I don’t use and just takes dust standing around. But I am deeply impressed by these great artists and I think it’s also a beautiful souvenir to take for friends – who are no minimalists 😀
For further information:
Jordan Tourism Board
Sand art in jars from Petra on Facebook
I enjoyed the article but was saddened to learn the author doesn’t buy anything not utile. As an artist, I do take exception that all our work does is hang about and collect dust. We put pieces of our soul into our work and that is our gift to you. Your utilitarian view means you see our gift as unworthy of being a permanent part of your life. I find it sad that you find something whose main goal is to excite your mind, soul, and whole non-corporeal self as not being worth having a full time place in your life at home.
Hi Judith, I am sorry you see my article like that. I admire any kind of art but that doesn’t mean I want to buy everything and have enough space for everything I like. I think it is more important to appreciate what people are able to create but not necessarily buy it also. And that is my own opinion, many people love to bring this amazing kinds of souvenirs home, it is just me, I prefer something that I also can use as I am someone who likes to live with very few things around me. I am sorry I hurt your feelings!