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POTTERY

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The simplest, and at the same time one of the oldest, branches of the primeval art of working in clay is the manufacture of bricks and tiles, the invention of which (at Athens) was ascribed by the Greeks to the mythical personages Euryalus and Hyperbius [Pliny, H. N. vii 194]. So far as bricks were used at all, their use was generally confined to private buildings; and Greeks and Romans for ages employed only unbaked or sun-dried bricks. Bricks baked in the kiln came into use at a later date. The first to employ them extensively were the Romans, probably at the period when the population of the city rendered it necessary to build houses of several stories, which demanded a more solid material. In imperial times such bricks were the common material for private and public buildings. The walls were built of them, and then overlaid with stucco or marble. Building with baked bricks extended from Rome into Greece, and, generally speaking, wherever the Romans carried their arms, they introduced their exceptional aptitude for making excellent bricks. Bricks which presented flat surfaces, to be used for walls or pavements, were made of the most various dimensions, but were for the mostpart thinner than ours. Besides these, there were also rounded bricks for bujlding dwarf column, and for the construction of circular walls. For roofs flat tiles were chiefly used (Lat. tegula), which were provided with a raised rim on both of their longer sides, and were so formed that the upper fitted into the lower. Concave tiles also were used (Lat. imbrex) of the form of a half cylinder, which covered the adjoining edges of the flat tiles. The lowest row was commonly finished off with ornamental moulding. From the same material as bricks were also made pipes for conveying water, for sewers, and for warm air; the section in the first two cases was round, in the last, square. Pottery in its proper sense, the manufacture of utensils, is very old. The potter's wheel was known even before Homer's time [IL. xviii 600]. Its invention was variously ascribed to the Corinthian Hyperbius [Pliny vii 198] and to the Athenian Talus, nephew of Daedalus. Corinth and Athens, where the neighbouring promontory of Colias furnished an inexhaustible supply of fine potter's clay, were, in fact, the headquarters of the manufacture of Greek pottery. Next came Aegina, Samos, Lacedaemon, and other places in Greece itself, which always remained the principal seat of this manufacture, especially in the form of vases of painted clay. These were exported in large numbers to the countries on the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The high estimation in which Greek, and especially Attic, pottery was held is proved by the numerous vases which have been discovered in tombs, chiefly in Italy. More-over they represent almost every period. The excellence of the workmanship lies in the material, which is very fine, and prepared with the utmost care; also in the execution and in the baking. Its thinness, as well as the hardness of its sides, even in vessels of large dimensions, astonishes experts in such matters. The shapes are mostly produced by the potter's wheel, but also by hand in the case of vessels too large to be conveniently placed on the wheel; for example, the largest wine-jars. [The prehistoric pottery from Mycenaene, the Troad, and other Hellenic sites, was-also made by hand.] Whereas small vessels were made of a single piece, in the case of large ones the body, handles, feet, and neck, were fashioned separately, and then united. They were first dried in the sun, then twice baked, before and after the painting. The colours are No less admirable than the workmanship. The clay shows a beautiful bright reddish yellow, which is produced by the addition of colouring matter, and is also further intensified by a thin coating of glaze. The black colour, which often verges upon green, and is of a brilliant lustre, is then applied. Either (1) the design stands out black against the bright background or (2) the figures appear in red on a black ground, the former being the earlier method. Other colours, especially white or dark-red, were applied after the black glaze had been burnt into the clay by the second baking, and served as a less lasting adornment. In later times yellow, green, blue, brown, and gold were also used. [In the case of vases with black figures, the vase was first turned on the wheel, and in order to give it a surface of deeper red: clay finely ground and mixed with water to the consistency of cream, technically known as "slip," was applied by a brush or other wise while it was still revolving. The outline of the design was next roughly sketched, either witho . nt or in light-red ochre with a brush. The vase was then dried in the sun, and again put on the wheel, and the glaze, finely powdered and mixed with water was applied to it with a brush as it revolved. The vase was then in some cases fired for the first time in the kiln in order to provide a smooth, almost non-absorbent surface for the use of the painter. The painter then put on the black enamel figures and ornaments with a brush. After the firing of the enamel, the details were drawn in by incised lines, cutting through the enamel down to the clay body of the vase. In vases with red figures instead of the figures being painted in black, the ground is covered with black enamel and the figures left, showing the glazed red "slip" which covers the whole vase. This method produced a great artistic advance in the beauty of the figures, the details and inner lines of which could be executed with freedom and ease by brush-marked lines, instead of by the laborious process of cutting incised lines through the very hard black enamel (Prof. Middleton on "Pottery" in Encyc. Brit. xix 608, 609).] Lastly, the form deserves all praise. The vases of the best period present the most tasteful elegance of form, that is at once fine and strong, and the most delicate proportion of the various parts to each other and to the whole, without interfering with their practical utility (see cuts under VASES and VESSELS). It was not until the times when taste had begun to degenerate that the fashion was introduced of giving to clay ware, by means of moulds, all kinds of grotesque forms of men and beasts, and of furnishing them with plastic (as well as painted) ornamentation. [The technique of ancient pottery is illustrated by figs. 1 and 2. The first represents a youth seated in front of an oven, from the top of which he takes with two sticks a small, two-handled vase which has been newly glazed. The second shows the potter giving the last polish to a finished vase, while two other vessels are standing to dry on an oven, the door of which is closed (Guhl and Koner's Life of the Greeks and Romans, p. 141, Eng. ed.). Among the votive tablets in the Louvre there are two from Corinth, The first of these represents an early Greek type of kiln, which is domed over, and has a space for the fuel on one side, and a door in the side of the upper chamber, through which the pottery could be put in and withdrawn. The second shows a potter applying painted bands while the vessel revolves on the wheel (Prof. Middleton, l.c., figs. 3 and 20). See also VASES.] The ROMANS, with whom, as early as the time of the second king, Numa, a guild (collegium) of potters existed, neither had vessels of painted clay amongst their household goods, nor did they employ it for the ornamentation of their graves. In earlier times at least, they used only coarse and entirely unornamented ware. They imported artistically executed vases from their neighbours, the Etruscans. In the last hundred years of the Republic, as well as in the first hundred years after Christ, the chief place for the manufacture of the red crockery generally used in households was Arretium (Arezzo) [Pliny, xxxv 160; Martial, i 54, 6, xiv 98; Dennis, Etruria, ii 335]. The ware of this place was distinguished by a coral-red colour, and was generally furnished with glaze and delicate reliefs; in fact, ornamentation in relief was widely employed in later Roman pottery. Very much valued was the domestic ware, called vasa Samia, which was an imitation of the earlier pottery brought from the island of Samos. It was formed of fine, red-coloured clay, baked very hard, of thin make, and very delicate workmanship. It was glazed and generally adorned with reliefs, and served especially for the table use of respectable people who could not afford silver. While this fine ware was made by hand, the manufacture of ordinary pottery as well as of bricks and pipes, especially under the Empire, formed an important industry among capitalists, who, on finding good clay on their estates, built potteries and tileworks, and either worked them on their own account through slaves or had them carried on by lessees. The emperor himself, after the time of Tiberius, and the members of the imperial family, especially the females, pursued a similar trade, as is shown by the trade-mark which, according to Roman custom, was borne by clay manufactures. The production of large statues of clay, apart from the purpose of modelling, belongs amongst the Greeks to the early times. It continued much longer amongst the Italians, especially amongst the Etruscans, who furnished the temple at Rome with clay images of the gods before the victorious campaigns in the East brought marble and bronze productions of Greek art to Rome. On the other hand, throughout the whole of antiquity, the manufacture of small clay figures of very various kinds, for the decoration of dwellings and graves, and for playthings for children, etc., was most extensively practised. They were generally made in moulds, and after baking were decorated with a coating of colour. The excellence which Greek art attained in this department, as in others, is shown by the "figurines" discovered at Tanagra in and after 1874, specimens of which are given in figs. 3, 4. Very important too was the manufacture of clay reliefs, partly with figured representation and partly with arabesque patterns, for the embellishment of columns, windows, cornices, and also of tombstones and sarcophagi. (See Dumont and Chaplain, Ceramiques, 1888: Kekule, Thonfiguren aus Tanagra, 1878, Die antiken Terracotten, 1880, and Die Terracotten von Sicilien, 1884; Henzey, Catalogue des figurines antiques de terre cuite du Musee du Louvre, 1882, id. 60 plates, 1883; and the popular work by Pottier, Les Statuettes de Terre Cuite dans L'Antiquite, 1880.)

Pictures and Media
A GREEK POTTER. (Gem from Millin, Point. ii, vignette.)
A GREEK POTTER. (Gem from Millin, Point. i, vignette.)
TANAGRA FIGURINE.
BARBER IN TERRA-COTTA. From Tanagra (Arch. Zeit. 18, taf. 14).
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