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Home Exposed Works Ancient Technique For Vases
Ancient Technique For Vases
  1. Before we begin creating a vessel and prepare the material which we are going to use for it's decoration. Firstly we should be choose the right kind of specific territories, which will give different color during the kilning (black, white, yellow, etc). The different synthesis of each mold, produces the proportional color. We screen the mold until all rocks, even the tiny ones, are removed from it.
  2. Next we fill a pan with water and the clean mold and we shake it.
  3. We leave it for a few hours and then we transfused to another, for over a hundred times (this procedure gives us a better screen). Last pan with the mix goes to the kiln for 2-3 hours, until the water vaporized and the remaining material is the clay-cream which we will use for the painting of the vessel.
  4. We clean and polish the already dry and non kilned vessel using various tools until its surface becomes like glass. Then we draw with a pencil the figures that we want to create.
  5. Then we paint the pottery with the clay-cream, which contains a lot of iron oxides using an one-hair brush of wild boar. Then we deep the brush into the clay-cream and we start to pain the stroke of the figure and the simple lines on them we paint all the surface of the pottery that we want to become black(after firing) and we leave the rest of the surface without and clay on. So in order to create the red figure art we have to paint all the vase with the clay-cream but the figures and the opposite when we want to create the black figure style. It is very important to mention that we have to paint more than ten times, each mm of the surface in order to absorb the dry clay, the "clay-cream". Then we have to leave the ceramic to dry for a lot of days before firing process.
  6. The Firing Process
    We use a kiln with two levels. On the up level we put the vessels we want to kiln and to the level below we put olive lops(not too fresh or too dry). The two levels of the kiln are communicating through a special hole. Also the kiln has another hole which communicates with the outside. We set fire at the kiln and we raise the temperature progressively until it get to 950k leaving the oxygen flow outside hole open. The vessel kilns and the color of it's surface becomes a deep red. Then we close the outside hole but at the same time we open the hole between the two levels. We set fire at the olive lops and the produced smoke gets to the kilns upper level and burns the oxygen. By the temperature of 950k we drop progressively to 650k. when we reach this temperature, there isn't any oxygen inside the kiln, so the apagoge takes place and the whole vessel becomes black. Once again we open the kilns outside hole, the oxygen starts again to flow inside the kiln and we raise the temperature progressively again to the 950k. as a result the surface parts which were not painted with the cream-clay material are becoming red, as oxidation is taking place and the parts that were painted with cream-clay are remaining black.
    After years experimentation we can conclude that choice of appropriate clay, exact process, control of temperature and timing to open and close the chimney, was vital for the success of this method.