Sunday, December 5, 2010

These two unusual double-handled pieces were said to be found together. A nice set.


This cup is identified as a tankard, although it is too curvy and diminutive to approach what I consider a tankard, but the thin strap handle is kind of mod-feeling.


a bronze foot and a marble hand that have become separated from their owners.

The Daily Grind

I love finding clay figurines, from any time and culture, that depict people at work. Here we see grinding and baking in what appears to be a clay oven.

Wild Kingdom


When I saw these at the Met, I thought of the similar type things I've seen lately made by Julie Knight or Deb Reed. I have always loved these cutaway-style feet.

There's No Stoppin' the Cretans from Hoppin'

A very early cup from Minoan Crete is unglazed except for the iron-rich slip decoration over a calcium-rich lowfire clay body.


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.

This lineup of utilitarian large vessels made me think of of a project arraying oversize narrow-necked bottles made by GHP resident artist Will Coggin last year.

More Met Museum

Here is a roundup of some pottery shapes that caught my eye on my last visit to the Greek & Roman study collection at the Met. I found that lots of things reminded me of work being done by some of the potters I know from GHP.