History of Pottery

History of Pottery ? The oldest Pottery dates back to the 10,000 years during the Neolithic Revolution
? Pots were built by stacking rings of clay together, which were smoothed out and fired in big holes in the ground underneath a bonfire
? Pots and Vases were utilitarian in nature and were mainly created for drinking and pouring or also storing olive oil or wine
? Greek mythology was the first to experiment with adding colours to the clay with other natural ingredients like ochre and potash
? The beginning of Bronze age around 3000 B.C potters were using the slow wheel
? Slow Wheel is a moveable platform that allows the potters to turn the pot as they work, instead of having to move round their pot
? By the next century came around most potters in Europe and Asia were using the Fast Wheel
? A platform was used similar to the Slow Wheel technique, except the platform spun on an axel much like a toy top
? Potters start with alump of clay sitting on the wheel and give the wheel a good spin to enable them to draw the pot out of the clay through the spinning motion
? The platforms made itpossible to work quickly and reproduce the same design
? The next big breakthrough in pottery was in the 600 A.D during Han Dynasty in China when potters began to make porcelain pots
? The delicate and artful pieces known as fine china were created from whit kaolin
? Clay was combined with ground granite which was fired in extremely high temperatures
? Potters in West Asia invented lead glazes to mimic the porcelain look
? The glazes were important because they add a decorative element to pottery making, which made porous earthenware waterproof
? European potters created colourful glazes to use in their pottery
? Throughout centuries pottery has continued to evolve as both a craft and a artTime Line ??“ The History Of PotteryEarly Neolithic Wares Grooved Ware Food Vessels
3100-2000B.C 2400-1200B.C
4000-3000 B.C4000 3000 2000 1000 3500-2700B.C 2400-1700 B.C 2200-1200
Impressed Wares Beakers Collard Urns[pic]Ancient Greek PotteryMaterial/Medium
Greece enjoys ample deposits of fine clay, in particular large quantities of good quality secondary clay.
The clay beds around Athens are distinctive for their chemical composition, mainly with respect to their iron oxide and calcium oxide contents, which are responsible for the reddish-orange colour of the fired clay. This marks it out from the clays of other regions such as Corinth where the pottery has a lighter, creamy-white appearance. Indeed spectroscopy and other methods have revealed unexpected connections amongst vases distributed around the Mediterranean basin, as in the case of the hydriai from Hadra near Alexandria. Previously thought to be Egyptian in origin analysis of their chemical composition has shown them to have been imported from a workshop in Rhodes.
Primary clays were rarer and used sparingly mostly as an accessory colour in decoration, for example on white ground vases where kaolinite was applied in a thin uniform layer while the pot was on the wheel. All clay was purified through levigation in order to remove such impurities as quartz and limestone in order to increase the malleability of the clay in the potters hands.Decoration/FiringThe striking black slip with a metallic sheen, so characteristic of Greek pottery was a fine suspension (colloidal fraction) of an illitic clay with very low calcium oxide content which was rich in iron oxides and hydroxides, differentiating from that used for the body of the vase in terms of the calcium content, the exact mineral composition and the particle size. This clay suspension was most probably collected in situ from specially located illitic clay beds that produced spontaneous colloidal dispersion in rain water. The stability of the chemical composition of the Attic black slip argues against the use of added deffloculants such as wood or other plant ashes, urea, tannins, even blood, suggested by several authors during the 20th cent. This clay suspension was thickened by concentration to a paste and was used for the decoration of the surface of the vase. The paint was applied on the areas intended to become black after firing. The black colour effect was achieved by means of changing the amount of oxygen present during firing. This was done in a single cycle. First, the kiln was heated to around 920-950?°C, with all vents open bringing oxygen into the firing chamber and turning both pot and slip a reddish-brown (oxidising conditions) due to the formation of hematite (Fe2O3) in both the paint and the clay body. Then the vent was closed and green wood introduced, creating carbon monoxide which turns the red hematite to black magnetite (Fe3O4); at this stage the temperature decreases due to incomplete combustion. In a final reoxidizing phase (at about 800-850 ?°C) the kiln was opened and oxygen reintroduced causing the unslipped reserved clay to go back to orange-red. In the previous phase, chemical composition of the slipped surface had been altered, so it could no longer be oxidized and remained black. The technique which is mostly known as the “iron reduction technique” was decoded with the contribution of scholars, ceramists and scientists since the mid 18th cent. onwards to the end of 20th cent, i.e. Comte de Caylus(1752), Durand-Greville (1891), Binns and Fraser (1925), Schumann (1942), Winter (1959), Bimson (1956), Noble (1960, 1965), Hofmann (1962), Oberlies (1968), Pavicevic (1974), Aloupi (1993).Construction
Wheel made pottery dates back to roughly 2500 BC where before the coil method of building the walls of the pot was employed. Most Greek vases were wheel made, though as with the Rhyton mould-made pieces (so-called “plastic” pieces) are also found and decorative elements either hand formed or by mould were added to thrown pots (the handles on a volute crater for instance). More complex pieces were made in parts then assembled when it was leather hard by means of joining with a slip, whereupon the potter returned to the wheel for the final shaping, or turning. It was then slipped and incised ready for the kiln.Uses/Types of Greek Pottery
Not all ancient Greek vases were purely utilitarian; large Geometric amphorae were used as grave markers, kraters in Apulia served as tomb offerings and Panathenaic Amphorae seem to have been looked on partly as objets d??™art . Most other surviving pottery, however, had a practical purpose which determined its shape. The names we use for Greek vase shapes are often a matter of convention rather than historical fact, a few do illustrate their own use or are labeled with their original names, others are the result of early archaeologists attempt to reconcile the physical object with a known name from Greek literature ??“ not always successfully. To understand the relationship between form and function Greek pottery may be divided in four broad categories:
? storage and transport vessels,
? mixing vessels,
? jugs and cups
??? Vases for oils, perfumes and cosmetics.
Within each category the forms are roughly the same in scale and whether open or closed, where there is uncertainty we can make good proximate guesses of what use a piece would have served. Some have a purely ritual function, for example white ground lekythoi contained the oil used as funerary offerings and appear to have been made solely with that object in mind. Many examples have a concealed second cup inside them to give the impression of being full of oil, as such they would have served no other useful gain.
There was an international market for Greek pottery since the 8th century BC, which Athens and Corinth dominated down to the end of the 4th century BC. An idea of the extent of this trade can be gleaned from plotting the find maps of these vases outside of Greece, though this could not account for gifts or immigration. Only the existence of a second hand market could account for the number of panathenaics found in Etruscan tombs. South Italian wares came to dominate the export trade in the Western Mediterranean as Athens declined in political importance during the Hellenistic period.Types of Greek Pottery1. Pelike (Plural: Pelikai)[pic]Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Pelike comes from the Red-figure period, with early examples by Euphronios. Like the amphora, the pelike stored wine and oil. From the 5th century, funerary pelikai stored cremated remains. Its appearance is sturdy and practical.
Woman and a youth, by the Dijon Painter. Apulian red-figured pelike, c. 370 B.C. at the British Museum.2. Loutrophoros (Plural: Loutrophoroi)[pic]Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Loutrophoroi were tall and slender jars for weddings and funerals, with long, narrow neck, flaring mouth, and flat tops, sometimes with a hole in the bottom. Earliest examples are from the 8th century B.C. Most black figure loutrophoroi are funerary with funerary painting. In the fifth century some vases were painted with battle scenes and others, marriage ceremonies.
Protoattic Loutrophoros, by the Analatos Painter () c. 680 B.C. at the Louvre.3. Stamnos (Plural: Stamnoi)[pic]Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Stamnos is a lidded storage jar for liquids that was standardized during the red-figure period. It is glazed inside. It has a short, stout neck, a wide, flat rim, and a straight body that tapers to a base. Horizontal handles are attached to the widest part of the jar.
Odysseus and the Sirens by the Siren Painter (eponymous). Attic red-figured stamnos, c. 480-470 B.C. at the British Museum4. Column Kraters[pic]Public Domain. Courtesy of Bibi Saint-Pol at Wikipedia.
Column Kraters were sturdy, practical jars with a foot, a flat or convex rim, and a handle extending beyond the rim on each side, supported by columns. The earliest column krater comes from the late 7th century or earlier. Column kraters were most popular as black figure in the first half of the 6th century. Early red-figure painters decorated column-kraters.
Corinthian column-krater, c. 600 B.C. at the Louvre.5. Volute Kraters[pic]Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
The largest of the kraters in canonical form by the late 6th century B.C. Kraters were mixing vessels for mixing wine and water. Volute describes the scrolled handles.
Female head and vine tendril in the Gnathian technique. Apulian red-figured volute-krater, c. 330-320 B.C. British Museum.6. Calyx Krater[pic]Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons
Calyx kraters have flaring walls, and the same type of foot used in the loutrophoros. Like other kraters, the calyx krater is used for mixing wine and water. Euphronios is among the painters of calyx kraters.
Dionysos, Arcane, satyrs and maenads. Side A of an Attic red-figure calyx-krater, c. 400-375 B.C. From Thebes.7. Bell Krater[pic]Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Shaped like an inverted bell. Not attested before red-figure (like pelike, calyx krater, and psykter).
Hare and Vines. Apulian bell-krater of the Gnathia style, c. 330 B.C. at the British Museum.8. Psykter[pic]Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Psykter was a wine cooler with a broad bulbous body, a tall cylindrcal stem, and a short neck. Earlier psykters had no handles. Later ones had two small loops on shoulders for carrying and a lid that fits over the psykters mouth. Filled with wine, it stood in a (calyx) krater of ice or snow.
Warriors departure. Attic black-figure psykter, c. 525-500 B.C. at the Louvre.9. Hydria (Plural: Hydriai)[pic]CC. Pankration Research Institute
Hydria is a water jar with 2 horizontal handles attached to shoulder for lifting, and one on the back for pouring, or carrying when empty.
Attic Black-Figure Hydria, c. 550 B.C., Boxers.10. Oinochoe (Plural: Oinohoai)[pic]Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Oinochoe (oenochoe) is a jug for pouring wine.
Oinochoe of the wild-goat style. Kameiros, Rhodes, c. 625-600 B.C.http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/decorating/pottery1.htm


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