I will paste in notes I have distributed in the past. If they are useful to you, please download all or part of them. They will give you basic information on names, dates, places, technologies. Lectures might or might not follow them closely--I will try to let you know if material is in the notes so you can follow more in class without having to worry about writing everything down.
Brief Notes: AHIS.335: History of Ceramics Practice/Gogarty
Notes may be downloaded or photocopied
Main Points, Early Ceramics: Mesopotamia, Iran, Egypt
Neolithic (New Stone Age, Farming, permanent settlement): 8000 to 2300 BCE; Chalcolithic (copper tools begin to replace stone): 5000-3000 (?);
Bronze Age: 2300-1000;
Iron Age (begins Anatolia/spreads): 1600-1200.
Oldest kiln sites/figurines: 32,000 BP (Before the Present).
First pottery in Middle East: 7000 BCE
First Potter's Wheel: (Painted Attic Pottery, p. 203, note 10) Sumer: 3250+/-250 BCE Syria/Palestine: 3000BCE; Egypt 2750 BCE; Crete 2000 BCE; Americas: after 1550 CE; Mainland Greece: 1800 BCE; South Italy: 750 BCE; Danube: 400 BCE; S. England 50 BCE; Scotland 400 CE. (note: dates are tentative, relative and disputed). Earliest pots for which we have details: Anatolia, late Mesolithic (8-7mil BCE).
Proto-Hassuna/Hassuna Period: late 7th mil. BCE, Zagros region, low-fire coarse ware, organic temper, slab technique, bonfire (kilns date from Hassuna), separate ceramic district, incised/painted line patterns from basketry. Samarra ware (5500-5000 BCE): better kilns, animal and geometric, "whirling pattern," trade.
Halaf/Ubaid: 6000-5000 BCE-Halaf (north): settlements built on top of deserted Hassuna ones. Fine clays for thin-walled, coarse for storage, cooking.
Arpachiya--painted wares, fired polychrome, images of bulls, snakes, humans—black core (see p 151PMCT) indicates careful firing. Analysis of trace elements (p.42) suggests extensive trade, uniformity.
Ubaid (6000-4000) (south): five identified stages, under later cities/Sumer. Asphalt coated baskets, wood wares, but also large-scale ceramic production, self-slipped, banding (tournette), polychrome, off-site production and wide trade networks (Red Sea, Persia).
Fourth Millennium: Uruk, Sumer, fortified cities, monumental architecture, potter's wheel, updraft kilns, wide-spread trade, new shapes.
Third Millennium: ceramics important to economy, grey wares, seasonal production, royal patronage, grave goods, development of stoneware, fast wheel, uniformity, emulate metal wares--"fruit stands," goblets, spouted jars, funerary wares, dairy equipment, basalt-tempered (thermal shock), calcareous clay fabric.
Second Millennium: Urban production, regional wares, powerful patronage, improved wheel, utilitarian and finewares, decoration relates to wall painting.
First Millennium: fine palace wares imitate metal, animal-headed rhytons, regional styles, fast throwing, glazed wares/tiles (Ishtar Gate, Babylon).
Iran (Persia): High plateau, distinct regional cultures. Iron age(12-10 c BCE): new metalwares, architecture, burial and ceramic traditions—real cultural, ethnic mix. Amlash: north/west Iran, by Caspian sea, migrant herders. Marlik Tepe: Iron-age tombs—gold and silver goods, mosaic glass, fritware, cylinder seals, grey and red burnished wares, basins, globular flasks, double flasks, jars with beaked spouts (distinctive)—self-slipped, burnished, carefully fired. Anthropomorphic and zoomorphic (bulls, stags, leopards) pouring vessels. Greywares: burnishing imitates sheet metal—beaked pots, repousse. Tepe (oasis) Sialk/Khurvin region-long stable occupation. Cemetery wares copy metal—rivets, fluting, bold geometric patterns, hatching, diamonds, human and animal figures—related to textiles. Luristan: famous for bronzes. Baba Jan painted ware: relates to hammered sheetware, lost-wax casting. Tribes seasonally nomadic. Wares sandy, buffer brownish, painted with reddish-brown circles, wheels, "kites", ladders, rosettes; spouted and anthropomorphic relate to Amlash wares, decorative tiles. 8-7th c., wheel thrown, mica tempered, loop handles, animal-headed terminals, ribs (from metal—no function in ceramics), red-slipped. Large pithoi coil-built, crumbly trays (made and used today by women)--
Achamenids conquer Medes-- new influences, but metals still important.
Partho-Sasanians: Parthians rivals to Rome—stretches Bactria to Babylon, capital at Ctesiphon. Regional, fragmented traditions. In Mesopotamia, use of wheel, plain wares, hand-thrown and wheel-finished plus mold-made—great variety. Innovative decoration—press-molded sprigs, elaborate pictorial motifs (Hellenized), abstract patterns (dog's tooth rocker patterns, diamond shaped, stamped designs) eggshell wares turned after thrown. Glazed wares—rare (5%) but blue, green, yellow and brown, sodium-alkaline glazes—tradition back to Bronze Age. Incorporated potash from burned plants, added metal oxides. Often rim dipped in contrasting colour. Cookware glazed for "easy-clean surface." Real sophistication in tableware forms, "slipper coffins."
Sasanian: AD 224, conquer Parthians, consolidate power--bureaucratic, efficient government and military--lay basis for later Islamic rule. Superb metal, stucco, glass and ceramics produced in large industrial sites adjacent to canals. Square updraft kilns 12 feet across. Widespread trade in region, as far as Africa. Metalwares influence new shapes--dippers, trefoil spout pitchers, animal/portrait head rhytons, elaborate lid seatings on casseroles. Forms that imitate other media called skeumorphs.
Egypt: Earliest wares (7000 BCE) found Middle Nile (Sudan)--Sahara at time more hospitable. Some contact east and west 4200-3800 BCE, not just along Nile. Calciform Beaker—found in Sudan, distributed widely—bulbous base, wide flaring rim. Pottery contributed to sedentism--find it in nomadic, hunter/gatherer cultures--local production, Readily available clay--river course itself changes through time. No evidence of making/firing sites. Likely fired in open clamps (bonfires) short time, 800-900 C., likely made by women, sand or organic temper, rounded bottom (stand in soft sand), grave goods, burial containers. Pots slipped and polished-rocker stamp designs—dog's tooth, zig-zag fields.
Pre-dynastic period: (5000-3100 BCE)--uniformity, some regional variation in Delta, but eventually, assimilated by South (Upper). Pottery in delta plain, uniform; in south, fine decorated wares (could reflect excavations to date--graves survive better in south). Most pottery found as large component of graves. Paddle and anvil, slab, coil technique—use of roulette to facilitate hand techniques. Rilling marks on hand-made differ from fast wheel (spiral) Bonfires and pit kilns. Badarian wares: most significant—thin-walled, silty clay, combed or grooved exterior, burnished, finely finished.
Black and red wares: black rims with red body: buried rims in sand, re-oxidized, or piled organic material in bowl, buried lower portion: Fine pots repaired carefully. Unusual shapes/decoration—polished red slip body with creamy white slip designs--"White Cross line"--geometric, animal. After 3600, painted ware common-purple iron slip on dull beige body. Contain Marl—sea shells-large jars, coil technique, lively drawings, some with circular patterns imitate stone jars. Gerzean Pottery (3200 BCE)-lively drawings; Nagada 3200 BCE: wavy handled jars plain, but carefully finished.
Dynastic period: utilitarian wares, competent, but many a bit dull, except for XVIII dynasty. Fast wheel introduced 2400 BCE—Middle Kingdom (foreign contact): spiral rilling, string-cut base-often finished to remove marks; sometimes be seen with x-ray. Turned by stick in hole; kick wheel introduced 5th c BCE. Hand techniques not abandoned especially for traditional grave goods. Red-slipped wares: jars, spouted ewers, bowls (from 2600 BCE), Meydum bowls (2500 BCE). Whole class of wares for tomb use organic temper, mold-formed. Kilns much improved: updraft, circular or oval, chimneys. Pots stacked in separate chamber, pierced clay grate. Fabric not diagnostic—Egyptians interested in final product, whatever the fabric.
Two basic clay bodies: Secondary Nilotic silt and primary calcareous marl clays. Latter is finer, whiter, take paint better, more common in south. In north (delta) imitate marl clays by putting white slip on reddish silty clays. Faience: fritted glaze molded in to shapes (thousands of molds found), fired, finished like stone—for jewellery, small vessels, amulets, inlays, often found in graves—rich blue colour, used for tiles, related to glaze techniques-based on alkali silicates with mineral oxides, quartz, little or no clay.
Main Points: Aegean, Greek and Roman Pots
Minoan: Pottery on Crete long predates civilization (3000-1400 BCE, destroyed by earthquakes, invasions etc.). Neolithic: develops from simple utilitarian wares; people live and worship in caves, leave offerings. Bronze Age: sophisticated wares spurred on by Palace patronage, trade, influences from around Aegean.
Pyrgos wares: selective burnishing, chalices, reduction fired, tectonic syntax to decoration (emphasizes structure of pot). Vasiliki ware (2500-2300): unusual decoration in blotches (direct contact with flame, uneven glaze), imitates expensive stone, metalwares (rivets etc.), globular shapes, prominent spouts, bird-like--sophisticated firing techniques, kilns.
Potter's wheel common by Middle Minoan (2100-1650); fast wheel after 2000 BCE. Palaces required huge storage containers, standardized sizes and shapes, fine wares—interested in display; supports all the arts—murals, metal wares, ceramics. Kamares ware (1900-1700) red and white on glossy black ground, barbotine (slip-trailed), nature-based (floral style, marine style), plastic additions, egg-shell thin—complex syntax. Burial in larnakes (chests) and pithoi (large urns). Late Minoan--sophisticated shapes, beaked jugs, complex concave/convex profiles, molded decoration, references to murals, seascapes.
Mycenean: Helladic culture Achaeans (1500) and later Dorians (1200) invaders in Greek peninsula. Absorb and dominate Minoans, ceramics, but preferred metal. Long-stemmed goblet ("epirote" 1300), broad bowls, craters—decoration more restrained than Minoan, often in registers, bands, geometric patterns, line drawings— soldiers, chariots in registers. Decline after 1200 until 1000 BCE. Greeks: Real respect for ceramics—utilitarian forms, display, grave monuments, athletic prizes. Most wares undecorated, but decorated wares survive from tombs.
Corinth and Athens big centres--excellent, crisp forms, highly-differentiated shapes--appropriate for task, remain consistent throughout classical period (amphora, hydria, crater, kylix), narrative (Athens) focus on human figure, mesh daily life/values with art. Finely prepared clay, potter's wheel, workshop and industrial production (100 vase painters active in Athens at any given time), potter's quarters (ceramicus), marketing, mainly male production--competition, development, change, fashion.
Attic clay secondary, iron impurities, easily mined, worked, very plastic. Some complex shapes thrown all-in-one, later turned to crisp-up shape. Large pots thrown in sections, assembled. Unfired pots washed with red ochre--fired brighter red. Slips iron-rich, finely levigated, wood-ash (potash/alkali) added. High in illite--in reduction, vitrified, remained black/slightly glossy after re-introduction of oxygen—bichrome product of single firing.
Geometric (1000-700 BCE)~stick figures (prothesis-corpse on bier, mourners, chariots), geometric figures arranged in bands—used as grave markers, pot burials.
Orientalizing: (700 BCE) influence from Anatolia, Middle East-organic designs, florals, spirals, composite animals, "horror vacuii."
Black Figure: (700-550; height, 550-530 BCE): figures painted in black slip, details incised, emphasis on 2-D design, graphic, simplified patterns. Individual artists identified after 700 BCE--Exekias, Amasis Painter. Continues to be used for Panathenaic vases, required on industrial scale—1400 to 2000 amphora filled with olive oil! Red Figure: develops around 530-520 BCE, competes with wall painting, more realistic rendering of figures, emotion, spatial effects. By 300 BCE, in decline; power shifts to Rome.
White Ground Lekythos/oi: primarily used for funeral urns, white slip very fragile, paintings often in fugitive pigments, touching memorial themes, sometimes small double vase inside (conserved oil!).
Italian Peninsula: Villanovans: 8th c. BCE—predate Etruscans, excellent metal workers—cremated dead, cinerary urns, also large heavy storage jars. Etruscans enter peninsula c. 700 from Near East— true arch, metal, ceramics. Grey pottery (reduction) called Bucchero ware—burnished, iron-rich black slip, shapes often from metal wares, influenced by imported Greek pots (shapes, designs).
Rome: 500 BCE, Republic; by 275, rule peninsula, absorb Greece, move into Africa and Europe. Introduce technology and styles into new areas—absorb local traditions. Ceramic production often follows armies.
Red Gloss Wares: begin with Augustan/Imperial age, influenced by Hellenistic designs (figures in relief, scrolls, garlands, floral designs—black-slipped Megarian ware), often produced by Greek workers (have signature seals, industry records). Red gloss slip easier to fire than black—called terra sigillata—from sigillum (seal)--stamped designs. As with Greeks, made elaborate embossed and incised molds from plaster and fired clay—threw clay inside molds, feet, rims etc. added separately.
Arezzo (Arretium) 30 BC-30-50 AD (Augustan period): Large-scale industry, moves with army to Gaul. Centres: South Gaul--La Graufesenque; Central Gaul--Lezoux (late 2nd, early 3rd c AD); Germany--Rheinzabern. Barbotine coloured slips on dark ground popular; eventually North Africa (African Red Slipware “ARS”)--large scale industry--found Cornwall to Russia, Persia to Sudan. Empire exported technology, industry, skills etc; after fall of Empire, these remained to be developed by indigenous cultures (some debate whether residual or reintroduced.) Further from Rome, the more potters experimented with shapes--i.e., unusual flagon shapes in Rheinzabern, use of lead glazes, barbotine wares.
Pottery Lamps: mass-produced, copied successful designs, specialization, industrialization Popular consumer item, shipped with more expensive/bulky wares—particularly with ARS. Cheap, simple light form used until Victorian age. Burned olive oil—similar lamps in bronze. Cheap transport often permitted Roman wares to supplant local production (as British wares did in North America.) Pax Romana stimulates demand for consumer goods, markets, transportation routes-as areas conquered, skilled artisans often emigrated to areas of Roman production—led to real mixing of influences, technologies, skills.
Main Points: Southwest U.S. Painted Pottery/South American Pottery
Region of present-day Arizona, New Mexico, northern Mexico (Chihuahua): Anasazi ("the old ones" in Navajo; modern-day Pueblo—live north of Mogollon rim); Hohokum (live south of Phoenix in Sonoran desert, Salt and Gila river valleys, modern-day Pima and Papago); Mogollon (main group Mimbres, live Mogollon rim in Arizona to south-west New Mexico, modern-day Zuni).
Each group distinctive culture, language, pottery.
Hohokum: agriculturalists—extensive system of canals for irrigation; main site on Gila River Snaketown, inhabited by 500 CE; originally came from Mexico--share many aspects of Mexican culture--ball courts, pyramidal temples, pottery figurines, language. Main wares red-on-buff, figural motifs include dancers, flautists, animals. Wares contain mica, shaped with paddle and anvil, smooth surfaces.
Colonial Period: 600-900, mounds with temples, painted vessels, chert arrowheads, shell mosaics, stone palettes. Sedentary Period: 900-1200, elaborate designs on wares imitate textiles, gila shoulder--gentle curving side meets rounded base in sharp angle; men are superb weavers. Circa 1300-1400, Salado people from Anasazi join Hohokum, help with irrigation, keep own traditions of pottery. Many very large pueblos built--i.e. Casa Grande; disperse c. 1400.
Mogollon: in area by 200 CE. Circular pit houses; agriculturists and hunter/gatherers. 300 AD. Expand up against Anasazi, Hohokum. Disaster strikes c. 500 CE; recover.
After 1000 CE, villages amalgamate to form large multi-room dwellings-square, up to 275 rooms each, with circular semi-subterranean kivas for ritual space, men's clan meetings (matrilocal). First black-on-white distinctive "Mimbres" pottery appears 750-800 CE—bowls (90%), seed jars, water jars. Figured wares (20% of production) complex designs, birds, insects, humans. Possibly illustrate legends, beautiful figure/ground, geometric bands, often buried with dead with "kill" hole. Appear to have left area after 1100- general disaster (droughts? population pressure from Apache, Navajo?) hits area.
Anasazi: Basket makers, dry land farmers. Earliest pottery c. 400-700CE. Modified Basketmaker stage--line baskets with clay, mold pots over baskers. Make true pottery--coiled and scraped greyware.
Developmental Pueblo: 700-1050 CE. Multi-room settlements near Four Corners, matrilineal, men are weavers. Produce white-slipped wares with black decoration, corrugated wares, circular underground ceremonial chambers. Ancestor figures--kachinas-- very devoted to spiritual rituals re: rainfall, birth, death, fertility etc. Great Pueblo Period: 1300-1700-- many storied cliff homes, large populations, each village own distinct ware.
Regressive Pueblo Period: 1300-1700-population/area occupied contracts, but continue to make beautiful pottery-open bowls, seed jars, pitchers, bird effigy bowls; black-on-white mineral paint-often fugitive—geometric patterns—stepped triangles, zigzags, serrated bands, frets, spirals and various combinations—very dramatic and carefully designed all-over patterning, also have polychrome black, white and red in Regressive period--black and white disappears. Duck or Shoe pot: one end sits in fire, lead or lead/copper glazes used for decorative patterns. Cremated dead, placed ashes in one jar, covered with other. When Spanish enter area and try to enslave, revolt 1680s, succumb 1690s. Navajos in area by then (from Canada)--adopt pastoralism, stop fighting Anasazi, culture survives, flourishes.
South America: Andean region--bounded by deserts to west, jungles to east, many high mountain valley spur distinct regional cultures. Earliest utilitarian pottery 1200 CE. By 800 CE, culture based on large temples, worship cat god (puma?), highly specialized pottery, firing techniques. Chavin or Cupisnique (800-400BCE)—likely developed elsewhere, moved in and dominated region. Maize culture, decorated ritual pottery small part of total production.
Stirrup spout or handle distinct feature throughout region and time. Pots take many forms, mold-made—animals, fruits, vegetables, sea shells, humans. Often greywares, smudged (not true reduction), coarse temper. Textiles in region highly developed—also work in gold, copper, silver. First whistling pots appear. Viru culture (300 BCE-500CE) near present-day Trujillo--pyramidal temples, war-like, excellent metal workers, hand and mold-made pottery similar to Chavin--daily life (buildings), animals, often decorated with patterns, lines, dots.
Paracas Cavernas (400 BCE-CE) from peninsula of Paracas (southern coast), region famous for textiles--polychrome bright colours yellow, green, red, black--applied after firing, often flakes off--faces with fangs, deformed trophy heads.
Mochica (CEl-1200)--most important, near Chicama river (north coast), related to other groups living in south by Nazca valley, Paracas. Outstanding plastic wares—eventually, most are mold-made, many nearly identical with some variety in finish—delicate stirrup spout, some with flat bridges, often in shape of human or animal head, dippers and corn poppers.
Burnished unmolded wares have delicate, complex line drawings. Realism on some give insight into culture and cosmology: priests, figures in combat, demons, elaborate headdresses on warriors, diseases and mutilations, prisoners, corpses, skeletons; also some sculptural wares: fruits, animals, lots of sex, whistling jars often in form of birds.
Nazca culture evolves same time on south coast. Pottery thin, well-made, globular jars with two spouts and thin bridge, polychrome--up to 8 colours of slip, highly-stylized birds, demons, fish, pumas, condors. Nazca and Moche seemingly conquered by Huari or Tiahuanaco culture--their wares found over large region ("Horizon wares"). Build monumental architecture, colossal stone sculptures, very war-like—typical motifs involve running figures with bird masks, pumas, condors, brightly painted--spherical vessels, tapering spouts connected by flat bridge, beakers, jars with high necks with face or head on top--huge llama vessels--some 4’ high.
Three states emerge on coast-north, centre and south. Most important Chimu--1200-1450 successors to Mochica, city of Chan-chan capital. Pottery single colour--black, grey or red, highly polished, rarely painted. Stirrup spout usually more square with small animal at junction. Double and whistling vessels common. Conquered in 15th c. by Inca--control Andes from Ecuador to Chile—highly centralized. Aryballos shape characteristic—water jar with lugs, carried by roped-made from huge to miniature, plates with bird-head handles. Wares well-made, polished, often red, sometimes polychrome. Decoration is geometric plus images of plants, insects, llamas. Spanish conquer 1533. Continued whistling vessels; covered ancient forms with European glazes.
Questions to think about with contemporary tribal production:
1) How do contemporary tribal pottery practices differ from historical ones?
2) How can information from contemporary potters contribute to our understanding of historical pottery? How valid are contemporary interpretations of ancient traditions?
3) How do both contemporary and historical tribal potters challenge our concept(s) of ceramics and artistic/artisanal production? In what ways are you challenged?
Brief Notes: China and Japan
Chinese culture radically different from West. Trade contact with Rome and Near East. Consolidate, build wall under short-lived Ch'in or Qin (221-206 BCE). Philosophical/ spiritual influences Confucius, Lao Tzu (Taoism) and Buddha (Ch'an Buddhism).
Eight Taoist Emblems—sword, gourd, flower basket etc.or traditional symbols of Emperor (Dragon) or Empress (phoenix).
First stoneware Chou Dynasty (or Zhou 1027-256 BC). (Not in Europe until 14th c.) Early vessels imitate bronze and jade originals. Lead glazing known from imports of lead frit (called liu-li) from Roman Empire. Yueh district (south-east) develops dragon kiln during Han. Lead glazing lost during break-up of Roman Empire.
T'ang Dynasty (618-906)—peaceful, prosperous, many foreign influences, technologies, religions. Female ruler—Empress Wu Zetian (AD 625-706)--women very fashionable, liberated, educated. Reintroduce lead glazing with tomb figures, globular jars often white-slipped and decorated in three colours (sancai)--very runny glaze, spontaneous, emphatic painting. Perfect high-fire stoneware, possibly make first porcelain at Jingedezhen.
Song (Sung) Dynasty: Northern (960-1127); Southern (1127-1279) Sophisticated aesthetic wares, cross-draft kilns; contours of forms take precedence. Glazes imitate jade. Ding or Ting wares produced at Ting-chou (Hopei province, near Beij ing)—fine white or ivory porcelain—one of Song great wares—press molded or carved with elegant floral-based designs. Chun or Jun wares—lavender opalescent glaze, spashes of brignter purple, exposed rim often covered with metal band. Celadon glazes range of colours—greenish, olive, amber—reduction fired. Most prized celadon called Ju (or Ru) ware made 1107-1127 for exclusive use of court. Glaze smooth, opalescent, greenish blue. Stoneware made in Hopei province--Tzu-chou--light grey body, vigorous freehand painting of flowers, foliage, bands etc. in black or brown iron pigment. Sometimes designs scratched through glaze in forms of peony, diaper patterns, red and green overglaze enamels added.
Southern Song: move to southern capital to avoid Ch'in, attempt to replicate northern wares. Porcelain production characterized by very high degree of industrialization, specialization. Lung-ch'uan is pale green with wide crackle, often molded dragons on handles—sometimes have dots of iron pigments that fire irridescent brown. Opacity formed by minute bubbled in glaze that refract light. Huge factory production—20 to 25,000 at time. Kuan wares for Imperial court-attempt to replicate Ju-yao wares—materials and effects differ widely. Thick grey-green glaze applied in multiple layers to achieve marvelous depth, luminosity. Crackle controlled as visual effect. Southern counterpart of Ding is Ch'ing pai (or qingbai—shadowy blue) from Jingdezhen (Ching-te-Chen—in Kiangsi or Jiangxi province) most prized—translucent, pale blue-green, reminiscent of jade. Porcelain comprises alumina rich clays called kaolins. In north, sedimentary kaolin associated with coal seams. Low in fluxes, high in mullite (alumina) low translucency. In south, primary kaolins produced by alteration of igneous rocks-found in close association with china stone (quartz, fine mica (serite) and feldspar (albite)). Southern porcelain mixture of kaolin and china stone—very translucent; glazes consist of clay with lime flux added, reduction fired (blueish). Early qingbai pure cishi (china stone)~thrown thicker and pared down—fired upright in individual saggars—later fired on rims in stepped saggars, metal bands applied to rims, or interiors wiped clean and stacked one inside other. Shufu body made for ceremonial and official wares—more opaque—introduced kaolin into body. Teawares made with black or brown temmoku glaze—many variations: "hare's fur" "oil spot"--trade item with Japan.
Yuan Dynasty: (1280-1367) Foreigners take over China—stimulate trade (Blue and White).
Ming: (1368-1644): Reject anything Mongol. Eventually come to prefer blue and white, support Imperial courts at Jingdezhen--spare no expense. White wares made at Te-hua (blanc de chine)--Guan-Yin. Stoneware mold-made or incised, painted with "secret decoration." Incredible sophistication, intimacy, variety to wares. Blue and White use cobalt originally imported from Persia, later indigenous source (Chinese cobalt greyer, finer higher in manganese). Exploit Chinese skill with calligraphy--soft washes, figures often in landscape, deliberately avoid horizon, shadows, express inner vitality of nature. Copper red glazes and underglaze developed for court, difficult to control--fires tomato red. During reign of Cheng-Hua (1465-87), begin using domestic cobalt for blue and white, polychrome enamels developed as doucai (tou-ts'ia—contrasting colours) using blue underglaze or "five colour" enamel (wucai) no underglaze.
Beginning of global export trade. Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1912)--technically brilliant but sometimes a bit dry. New colours ("foreign colours") introduced—Famille Verte, Rose, Noire fuse traditional decorations (peonies, chrysanthemum) with new colours. Major reign K'ang Hsi (1662-1722) personally overseas restoration of kilns-wares show incredible delicacy, aesthetic awareness. During reign of Yongzhen (Yung'cheng) (1723-35) use colloidal gold to make pink, lilac-mixed with tin as opacifier. Asked Jesuits for novelties from Europe to copy. Permitted fine details as didn't run with heat. Fa-hua—like cloisonnes—slip trailed and interiors filled in with enamels. Ch'ien Lung (Qianlong) period (1736-1795) also important for trade with westerners. Swatow wares: thickly potted, widely traded around south-east Asia, very freely painted-almost folk art. Yi-shing from Kiangsu province, unglazed stoneware, original shapes--often very tiny--teapots speak to rising vogue for tea. Influence development of red stoneware in Europe.
Japan: traditions extend back 12,000 years.
Jomon period (10,000-400 BCE)--hand coiled, impressed braided cord design.
Yayoi period (400 BCE-300 CE) influences of China and Korea, better firing techniques. Buddhism introduced 7th c.
Chano-yu, or tea ceremony introduced with Zen Buddhism from Song Dynasty China. Sophisticated range of utensils for ceremony: bowls, braziers, incense burner, blossom vase, water carrier etc. Most famous tea master Sen no Rikyu (d. 1592).
Some slip glazes (Oribe, Shino) but prefer "natural" ash glaze introduced from Korea with anagama (tunnel) kiln. Allows Nature to express itself through medium of potter, pot. Admire rustic appearance of ash glazes--wabi--the beauty in unspoiled, rustic or simple things. To simulate rusticity, wares thrown/ beaten off-centre with paddle, fired without saggars. Roughness appeals to sense of touch--beauty of bowl apparent in handling.
Major advances introduced by Korean potters forcibly relocated to Japan by Hideyoshi end of 16th c. Bizen pots—heavily potted unglazed stoneware, show marks of straw burning/ smudging—hidasuki—emulate older ceremonial, funeral wares called Sue. Bizen pots often have potter's mark indicating communal kiln. Shigaraki—more robust shapes, swelling shoulders, ash glaze--inclusions of feldspar push up to surface, deposited on surface—seen as part of "character" of pot, not as flaw.
Shino ware: Kilns active 1570 to early 1600s. White body, luminous white glaze (inclusion of feldspar to basic ash glaze formula)—associated with tea master Shino Soshin (1440-1522), Shino possibly influenced by Korean wares called ido. Several kinds: undecorated, decorated with nature-inspired floral, plant designs in iron wash—charming, unaffected; marbleized (looks like agate ware), grey and red shino-affected by iron slip, method of firing, thickness of glaze over wash~if thin, red or grey shows through.
Oribe—named again for tea master, pupil of Rikyu named Furuta Oribe. Oribe preferred imperfect bowls with character. New revolutionary multi-chambered climbing kiln (nobori-gama) introduced into Mino region-Shino kilns (O-gama-large kiln) fall by wayside. New kiln permits consistent firing, high temperatures-fired in saggars. Walls made from granite-coated with clay. Patterns influenced by textile designs—glaze pours in like dye in kimono pattern—samurai collectors also big textile connoisseurs.
Brief Notes: Everyday Ware--Europe
Great Britain: Medieval period in Britain dates from Norman conquest (1066) to
Tudor period (1500-1600). Pottery utilitarian, working-class—aristocracy ate off gold, silver and pewter, later imported Chinese porcelain. Early forms sturdy, robust—tall jugs with "pie crust" feet (to sit on tables), spotty lead glazes (applied as powder—very poisonous!)--best examples from thirteenth century. Also made pipkins, cooking and storing vessels, frying pans, pilgrim flasks, aquamaniles. By Tudor period, stove tiles, candle brackets, applied sprig molds influenced by German salt-glaze. Cistercian wares stained dark brown (manganese), some with decorative white clay pads or slip designs. Forms: tyg--squat mug, often 2 or more handles; canette—tall drinking tankard, tiles—produced for abbey floors, mold-made, often heraldic designs, lead glazed—reduction and oxidation fired to vary colour, make simple attractive patterns.
Staffordshire (Burslem): most important centre for slipwares (particularly in period around Civil War 1646-50), later industrial production—good supply of clay, coal, transportation. Earliest slipwares first half 17th c. Made in Wrotham (outside Kent), Essex (outside London—Metropolitan wares) and elsewhere. Reaches peak 1670-1730—hollow wares (cups, bowls), flatwares (decorative chargers), miscellaneous wares (boxes, cradles for fertility/wedding presents), posset pots, chimney decorations—most famous made by Toft family (Thomas, Ralph and others)—contrasting slip designs with naive figures, political and religious slogans, "jewelling" (dots of slip). Other slipwares trailed, combed, sgraffito designs with long inscriptions, poems (harvest jugs). In general, potters poor, work is seasonal, family-based. Wares are wheel-thrown, modelled, stamped, inscribed—kilns primitive but developing—beehive or bottle shape common.
Early Modern period (16th c.): expanding economies, movement of social and ethnic groups, intermixing of cultures, technologies, styles lead to expansion in ceramic production as even artisan class has more disposable income. Imports from France (Rouen wares-red and white slip designs), China, Holland (tin-glaze), Germany (salt-glaze) in 17th c. encourage diversification to keep up with trends in fashion. Wares produced for local and urban consumer—construct sense of national and regional identity (deliberately archaic wares with patriotic sentiments, heraldry) particularly in wake of immigration, industrialization. Trade flourishes with Ireland, Continent, Atlantic colonies. Robert Plot--History of Staffordshire 1686--production details, styles, economics. Good source of info on potteries. Press molding introduced late 17th c.-mass-production of highly-finished goods.
Germany: Salt-Glaze-Rhineland early centre of Roman occupation, pottery traditions. Large scale production by 7th c.; kiln improvements in 9th made for tougher wares. Stoneware (steinzeug) produced between 1000-1200 CE—first in Europe (China: 500 BCE). Area favoured with wood supply, stoneware clays, river transport, population base, bronze-working traditions (knowledge of high-temp, work, design). Developments relate to brewing industry—introduce hops c. 1500—big upsurge in beer consumption requires hygienic, sturdy wares. Canette--in Germany—short fat pint; Schnelle: ("fast")--tall, tapering mug; Bellarmines (face modelled on neck—satirize Cardinal opposed to drinking).
Salt glaze--at stoneware temperatures (1100-1200C), salt added to kiln decomposes to form sodium oxide and hydrogen chloride—released as (noxious) gas—sodium fluxes with silica and aluminum in pot surface, forms tough, thin, shiny glaze--colour based on reduction/oxidization and iron content of clay. Salt glaze likely produced by 1400s, but first dated ware 1539. Control by trade unions, foreigners only for menial tasks, limit supply.
Potteries disrupted by Thirty years war (1618-48), relocate. Main centres: Seigburg—throw marks, pie crust foot, elaborate modelled friezes based on engravings, developing print culture, white-burning clays. Raeren brown salt-glaze imitated bronze, often friezes modelled, pious inscriptions around waists.
Jan Emens Mennicken active 1566-1594--best-known-classical scenes, nudes, festival and religious scenes. Wares widely exported.
Koln: early centre, dark chestnut pots—dispute with potters; they move to Freschen.
Kannenbacherland--land of potters--in Westerwald where potters fled to avoid war—produced Seigburg-style wares—grey or blue-grey, intricate engravings, pious sayings—eventually more geared towards colour (fashions change).
Kreussen (Bavaria): most elaborate, costly salt-glaze—inspired by/compete with maiolica, overglaze enamels—colourful, popular 1620-1750.
Defining characteristics of Salt Glaze: use of molds; originals cut in fine sandstone, impressions taken in pipe clay--double negative (to protect original mold)--crisp, detailed. Clay mined from shafts, salt imported from Low Countries (used to salt Newfoundland cod). Wares wheel-thrown, profiles crisped up with templates, bone tools. Colour added—"scratch blue" cobalt frit (smalt) rubbed into incised lines. Salt firings environmentally bad: chlorine gases unhealthy; salt-glaze wore silverware down, eventually replaced by maiolica, creamwares in 18th c.
Tin Glaze (Lustreware, Maiolica, Delftware, Galleryware etc)
Islamic Lustre: Forms based on everyday utilitarian wares. Beauty is in the decoration--long-standing traditions of well-executed designs. All Islamic wares earthenware (including faience/fritware). Tin added to lead glaze to opacify white surface in emulation of imported T’ang Dynasty stonewares, Yuan and later porcelains. First use of cobalt, but design blurs in lead glaze. Lustre requires 2-3 firings: biscuit, tin-glaze, then low-fire (muffle kiln) lustre. Lustre is mixture of metal oxide plus ochre. Under reduction, thin layer of pure metal deposited on surface. Ochre burnished to remove it. Islamic custom forbade use of gold or silver plates at table--lustreware next best thing. Difficult to control; only certain centres capable of producing it. Technology possibly derives from Egyptian glass making.
Samarra: outside Baghdad, Abbasid capital--floral, geometric patterns, exported around Islamic world including Spain. Production moves from Baghdad to Cairo (Fatimid court) to Spain, to Persia (Kashan wares)--widely traded. Kashan 25 miles south of Tehran, major centre, high technical and aesthetic standards. Lustre applied to artificial body (included glass frit) from 10th to 14th c. White body didn’t require masking slip or tin glaze. Can trace genealogies of potters for 400 years. Survived Mongol invasion because Mongolians liked fine crafts. Other Iranian/Persian centres at Rayy (often on blue background), Gurgan (huge cache of wares hidden from Mongols in 1221—town decimated—rediscovered in 1942.)
Seljuk Turks improved faience body--manual written 1301 discusses addition of quartz pebbles, potash frit and borax to imitate qingbai porcelains. Polychrome wares include minai (overglaze, designs based on manuscripts), haft-rang (over and underglaze colurs). Lustre tiles very popular for mosques, tombs.
Hispano-Moresque: Cordoba centre of Western world during Ummayad period (CE 756-1031). Around 1200, potters began to use tin-glaze on biscuit-fired pots. Lustres applied on third fire. Real upsurge in 13th c. as potters flee Mongol advance and come to Spain. Moslems reduced to southern Spain--cross-fertilization with Christian potters. Wares made at Malaga (Andalusia) and Valencia under Islamic influence. Later, Mudejar style (1450-1700) under Christian rule--fusion of Islamic and Gothic traditions. Often cobalt and lustre patterns--leaves, vines arranged in registers used on albarellos (drug jars)--Portinari Altar by Hugo van der Goes (1478). Crisp profiles, elaborate presentation, communal dining wares--exported in large quantities to Italy in Majorcan ships--possible origin of term Maiolica. Talavera de la Reina in central Spain popularized white glaze as “appetizing” Royal patronage sent group to Mexico to start tradition.
Italy: Wares from Islamic countries imported from early date--began to use tin-glaze themselves around 1200. Extensive trade between Tuscany and Barcelona. Valencia introduces mudejar style. Early maiolica very decorative—often oak leaf shape in raised, runny cobalt glaze on tin-glaze surface, heraldic animals—found on bulbous 2-handled drug jars. Major pottery centres develop at Castle Durante, Deruta, Cafaggiola, Faenza. Painters apply mineral paints to tin-glaze using popular prints, paintings as motifs--style called istoriato (historiated--narrative subjects)--mythological, religious, patriotic, popular images in orange, yellow, blue, manganese, purple/brown. Lustres first made at Deruta--possibly Islamic potters fleeing Christian advance in Spain introduce technology—only made at a few centres. Cipriano Piccolpasso wrote Three Books of the Potter’s Art—major source of textual and visual references to pottery techniques of the day. Major work produced by largest ateliers—required real skill, division of labour to decorate and fire properly (lots of waster)--lead poisoning a real occupational hazard. Istoriato goes out of favour with Baroque—often are monochrome blue or yellow with grotesques--called Faience in France (after Faenza). Religious wars/Reformation saw potters locating north, east spread tin-glaze to Netherlands, Central Europe (Anabaptists/Haban wares), England.
Bernard Palissy (1510-1590): Amateur scientist, theologian (Huguenot), potter, artist--invented ways of casting from life, developed innovative glazes based on tin and lead. Faced religious persecution most of his life but also produced wares for aristocracy--grottos (for Anne of Montmorency, Catherine de Medici), “rustic wares” (often snakes, crayfish, turtles, lizards, seashells, in marshy environment on large oval basins, platters--also pitchers). Naturalistic grottos actually contain complex allegories of his faith.
France, Germany, Netherlands: Duc de Berry (owned Très Riches Heures) brought potters from Spain to produce tin-glaze in 1332. Muslim potters fleeing Catholic inquisition come also to southern France--early French wares resemble Italian closely. Traditional maiolica (faience) called “in-glaze” as colours painted on unfired glaze and fuse with it. Covered with coperta (Italian) or kwaart (Dutch)--transparent lead glaze enhances brilliance, seals surface. Range of wares produced in emulation/competition with Chinese porcelain--tureens, stove tiles, decorative plates. Tin-glaze chips easily. Industry at Kreussen (salt-glaze) use stoneware shapes for maiolica and overglaze enamels--produce highly decorative, ornate style. Lots of cross-fertilization as potters move around, fashions demand specialized wares, decorative and display objects--industry collapses in face of cheap creamwares end of 18th c.
Netherlands: tiles, pottery first made at Antwerp by Italian émigré potters 16th c. --closely related to Italian traditions. Founding of VOC (Dutch East India Company) introduced Chinese porcelain--Dutch compete with Delftware--get boost from collapse of Ming. Potters admitted to Guild of St. Luke on basis of painting skill--often copy engravings, portraits, landscape, figural works, genre--use quality clays, industrial methods to produce quality product. Tiles popular in kitchens on walls (Spanish, Italians had used on floors)--hygienic, easy to clean.
Flower holders specially designed to accommodate tulips--pyramid shape, interlocking parts with water holders, spout-shaped necks for blooms--pyramids symbolized the “glory of the Prince” (in Emblem tradition--Caesare Ripa)--also called to mind Roman/Egyptian obelisks, Chinese pagodas. Most exuberant examples produced by van Eenhorn family with Adrien Kocks--popular for funerals, weddings, all sorts of celebrations, display. First mentioned in household inventories of wealthy between 1654-1668. Popularized with English court with accession to throne of William and Mary (Glorious Revolution, 1688--Mary huge fan of blue and white porcelain, Delftware.)
England: John Stow’s Survey of London 1603 reports religious refugees from Antwerp making Delftware in London--also made floor tiles, “apothecaries” (drug jars, albarellos, mortar and pestles etc.) Tin-glaze produced in Aldgate (East Anglia) and Southwark (London) by Flemish potters early 17th to late 18th c. --hard to tell Dutch and other foreign examples. Lambeth, Bristol other important centres--exported to Indies, Americas. Many potteries small family businesses; produced figures, decorated plates, puzzle jugs, candle holders etc.--tendency to chip limited use--surviving objects usually for display. Eventually replaced by Staffordshire creamwares late in 18th c.
Industrial Production in Europe
By the early 18th c., porcelain from China and Japan was reaching Europe in large quantities, consumed by aristocratic elite. Europeans strove to discover the secret of porcelain. Court patronage in Germany, Austria and France led to the development of porcelain factories that supplied luxury artifacts, while in Britain, commercial interests pursued industrial and technical advances to produce less expensive functional wares for the middle classes.
· Hard Paste porcelain: original formula, developed in China under T'ang—vitrified mixture of kaolin (low iron, high alumina clay, china stone—quarz, mica and feldspar). Glazes include lime, feldspar—fires at about 1300C.
· Soft Paste porcelain: ("pate tendre") low clay content, high quartz, glass frit, lime or gypsum—fires lower (1240C or lower)—not as strong, slumps, cracks, but beautiful effects with glazes—used in France 18th c (Sevres) and Britain (Bow, Chelsea etc.).
· Bone china: developed by Josiah Spode c. 1800--up to 50% bone ash, equal parts china clay, feldspar--ideal for casting, economical. By 1825, used extensively in Britain.
· Wedgwood's cream ware/pearlware: Improved existing earthenware body after 1763--refined ball clay, calcined flint (pure silica withstands higher temperature), china stone/ china clay. Glazes lead-soda. cobalt added to glaze after 1779 to produce pearlware.
German Porcelain: First "true" or hard paste porcelain produced in Europe 1709 under Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland by goldsmith and alchemist Johann Fried rich Böttger. Initial experiments produce high-fire red stoneware, could be carved, polished. Often based on designs by Johann Jakob Irminger for metalwares. Böttger discovers use of kaolin to make true porcelain paste ("arcanum"—see great book, The Arcanum by Janet Gleeson). Meissen factory employs 500 people by end of century. Unpainted blanks smuggled out or sold to be decorated by independent artists--Hausmaler tradition ("house painters"). Most important Meissen designer Johann Joachim Kandler--creates numerous table figures based on Italian comedy (commedia dell'arte—stock characters wealthy merchant Pantaloon, beautiful Columbine, jester Harlequin) and pastoral shepherd groups (after French painters Watteau, Boucher), heraldic animals decorate Japanese palace of Augustus (large, difficult to fire, often cracked—based on actual animal studies), Swan service for Count von Bruhl. Johann Gregor Horroldt--major painter, develops overglaze colours (1669-1775) Porcelain also produced in Nymphenburg (Swiss modeler, Franz Anton Bustelli), Berlin, Vienna.
French Porcelain: Develops under court patronage—Chantilly (Prince de Condé) moves to Vincennes (1738)—at bequest of Mme. Pompadour (favorite of Louis XV) moved to Sevres outside Paris 1756. Soft Paste (no source of kaolin in France until 1768; soft paste still favoured until 19th c.). Sevres granted exclusive privilege to make wares "in the style of Saxony" (Meissen) for 20 years—no need to pursue commercial success. Completely tied to system of power, intrigue of court. Employs hundreds of workers, some of greatest French artists, 7 specialist workshops—extremely fashionable decorative objects, special effects--reserves ("camaieu") painted with fantasy scenes-Chinoiserie, rococo influence--potpourris, garnitures, plaques, opera glasses, ice buckets, table wares. Coloured grounds: rose pompadour, bleu celeste, bleu lapis. Inkstand: 1758, soft paste, green ground, decorated with cherubs, gilding-likely made for daughter of Louis XV, Mme Adelaide—crown once contained bell; terrestrial globe-ink; celestial globe contained sand-sprinkled through holes to dry ink on page-little cameo of Louis XV on side. Wallace Collection (London-collected Sevres especially with aristocrats fleeing Revolution). 19th c. under Alexander Broignart, factory abandons soft paste for hard. More "high-tech," clean, industrial, imitate any material: virtuosity and luxury. Soft paste examples from ancien regime highly sought after by wealthy reliving fantasy of past.
Great Britain 1700-1800: Industrial Revolution brings huge changes to industry. Eventually, small potteries can not compete, but this encourages development of genuinely alternate "art pottery" or studio potters. Technical improvements introduced into Staffordshire (main pottery area): Stoneware produced by John Dwight and Elers brothers (from Holland) end of 17th c--lathe-turned, precise shapes influenced by Chinese Yixing wares. Calcined flint added to make white body, salt glaze stoneware. Creamware perfected by Wedgwood--low fire earthenware, cheap, light colour takes decoration, industrial parallels development of consumer culture, emphasis on dining, etiquette, fashion. Creamwares after 1760 revolutionize tablewares available to middle classes, replace tin glaze. Ralph Daniel introduces plaster of Paris from Continent for molds in 1740s--used for press molding salt glaze wares (slip casting not economical until introduction of deflocculants in 19th c.). Transfer printing introduced 1753. First used on enamels, but adapted to pottery. Copper plate printed ink on tissue or oil on gelatin bat. Oil transferred to pot, dusted with oxides for colour. Allowed for efficient, mass-produced decoration, popularity of prints (Hogarth and others), political commentary, souvenir jugs etc. Thomas Whieldon (1719-95) "agate wares" (white clay body coloured with iron, manganese, cobalt—clay wedged together to marbleize, imitate stone) and "tortoiseshell wares" (glaze colours dusted on, mix with streaky glaze). Enoch Booth introduces biscuit firing, which allows pots to be produced one place, decorated at another. Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795): brilliant innovator, businessman, encourages canals, opposes slavery, supports French/American revolutions (real paradox!). Capitalizes on vogue for consumer goods, neoclassical decorative wares, improves creamware body--"Queensware"--admired by Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. "Frog Service" 1773 for Catherine the Great of Russia. Designs often based on metalwares, pierced wares, transfer printed. Jasperware:body coloured with cobalt other minerals (later, just dipped)--designs by leading neoclassical artists, copied from archaeological designs published by Sir William Hamilton and others from Pompeii, Herculaneum--used in furniture, tea services, jewellery, decorative vases—extremely elaborate and ornate.