Miniature Moroccan Mosque Minarets

Back in the 90s for my first post-college apartment, I collected these distinctive tall skinny ceramic buildings made by a Michigan artist. I don’t remember his name now, but I found these pieces in Ann Arbor and Royal Oak.

Silly Ceramic Buildings

Way back then, they were cute set up with lights in them, on a windowsill, lined up like a city skyscraper scene. Over the years my tastes changed, and the buildings gathered dust in the basement. This past summer I debated selling them, so they were among the pile of things to be posted on eBay. But I still couldn’t let them go.

Then in Marrakech I saw these little “buildings.” I spotted a row of them on a shelf in a riad:

Miniature Moroccan Mosque Minarets

See a resemblance?

After returning home, I researched these buildings and found they are representations of the square minarets you see on mosques in Morocco. And they’re usually in a rose or orange-y clay color. Like this collection at Peacock Pavilions in Marrakech:

Moroccan Mosque Minarets at Peacock Pavilions

Or this scene captured by fotobes on Flickr, in a room in a Berber house in the Atlas mountains:

Miniature Moroccan Minarets in Berber House by Fotobes on Flickr

I saw them in the Marrakech souks:

Moroccan Minarets in Marrakech Souk

You see how sometimes they have a slight jaunty crookedness? Like they’re a little too impatient to stand still so they’re caught wiggling around. That’s what I really liked about my buildings. Maybe because that’s how I am! Most likely, the soft clay slabs get unwieldy when making these shapes, and they don’t dry straight. (Yes, I’ve done some time in a ceramics studio!)

Now I know what to do. Keep the little buildings. And paint them. Blue isn’t my color – there’s nothing much blue in our house. So that’s one reason why the buildings didn’t fit anywhere. So maybe I’ll paint them a natural dusty clay color.

If you have something that isn’t working for you any more, before you sell or donate it, see if a makeover will help.

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