Sunday, December 5, 2010
Some evidence of the longstanding preoccupation we here at the Dojo have had with pinecones. It was nice to stumble upon this second century A.D. roman terracotta jar, said to have been found in Gaul, and described as having "barbotine decoration". A little digging leads me to state that barbotine is the same technique I would call slip trailing, namely, piping a semi-liquid slurry onto a leatherhard pot to produce a raised texture ( not the way my vase shape was decorated ).
Alongside the decorative, the breathtaking, and the puzzling ancient artifacts it is also fun to see this comparison of unglazed, strictly functional jars which present minor variations on the same container. The ability to easily seal up the top for efficient transport, the double handles to enable two people to off-load and carry, and the tapering base that may have helped them nest together better when laid on their sides were the considerations that dictated these shapes. Clays from different locales show a range of color and texture.
Excavations which describe finding literal hill-sized castoffs of similar jars give a perspective onto their discardability, however surprising that may seem to us now.