What materials were used in Greek/Roman pottery? Methods used to make them?

It is important to know that aesthics completely dropped after the collapse of the Mycenaeans, and would only gradually return. The Submycenaean period of the Dark Age is characterized by repetition of a limited number of vase shapes dependent on Mycenaean models, but much lower level of artistic and technical competence. Decoration is merely bands of colours and shapes. Mid-Dark Age also referred to as the Protogeometric Age. Pottery characterized by the use of a faster potter’s wheel in its fabrication and by the practice of using a compass and multiple brushes connected to each other at equal intervals allowing for concentric circles or arcs. Potters in the protogeometric age begin to work with a greater variety of shapes. Later half of the Dark Age referred to as the Geometric Age. Pottery is characterized by abstract shapes running wild, completely covering the surface of the vessel in a restless but controlled obsession to reduce the exterior of the vase.

Design techniques: Athens around 566 began to replace Corinth as the leading Greek center for the production of painted pottery with figured decoration. For the remainder of the 5th and throughout the 6th century painted Athenian ceramic ware was a desired commodity and was widely exported throughout the Greek world. Athenians commonly used the black-figure technique, in which figures were painted in black on the reddish-orange background of the local clay and the vase was fired in such a way as to give the paint a lustrous black gloss. Interior details were produced by drawing lines with a graver, which scraped the paint allowing the natural colour of the clay to show through. Athenians began to experiment with a new technique around 530 called red-figure. Instead of painting figures in black and incising the interior details, painters tried painting the figure in outline and then filling in the background with paint, so that the figures remained the reddish colour of the clay while the background became black when fired. From the perspective of the viewer, the figures in red-figure scenes produce a more convincing illusion of three-dimensionality. In part because a light-coloured figure stands out more sharply from, and appears closer to the viewer on a dark background. Three-dimensionality is also enhanced because it becomes easier to paint figures that overlap eachother. From the perspective of the creator of the scene, the artist was now painting, rather than incising, the interior details, which could now be produced with a freer, more fluid motion. Further, those details could be better differentiated from one another by the use of a more or less diluted pigment.

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