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Vase Design began to lose its connections to the textile style of filling the entire plane with bands of animals and other decorations that were prevelant in Geometric pottery. The first major development was the Black figure style. "Between the beginning of the sixth and the end of the fourth centuries B.C., black- and red-figure techniques were used in Athens to decorate fine pottery while simpler, undecorated wares fulfilled everyday household purposes. With both techniques, the potter first shaped the vessel on a wheel. Most sizeable pots were made in sections; sometimes the neck and body were thrown separately, and the foot was often attached later. Once these sections had dried to a leather hardness, the potter assembled them and luted the joints with a slip (clay in a more liquid form). Lastly, he added the handles. In black-figure vase painting, figural and ornamental motifs were applied with a slip that turned black during firing, while the background was left the color of the clay. Vase painters articulated individual forms by incising the slip or by adding white and purple enhancements (mixtures of pigment and clay)" (Athenian Vase Painting). The entire firing process for creating Black-Figure pottery was newly developed and took place in three stages. The first stage used the process of oxidation, introducing oxygen into the kiln, to give the entire piece the color of th clay. The next step, fresh wood was introduced and oxygen was cut off to provide a smokey enviroment turning the vase black. In the third portion, air was reintroduced to the kiln turning the portions of the clay wiithout slip back to the color of the clay and leaving the remaining portions black.

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Black-Figure Satyr Vase

The introduction of Red-Figure slowly replaced Black figure vases as the dominate form of the time. In many cases, one side of a vase would be done in Black-Figure while the other was done in Red-Rigure. Many Red-Figure vases resembile negatives of Black-Figure because the images shown on one side was the same but flipped in color. "The red-figure technique was invented around 530 B.C., quite possibly by the potter Andokides and his workshop. It gradually replaced the black-figure technique as innovators recognized the possibilities that came with drawing forms, rather than laboriously delineating them with incisions. The use of a brush in red-figure technique was better suited to the naturalistic representation of anatomy, garments, and emotions" (Athenian Vase Painting). Many Red-Figure vases resembile negatives of Black-Figure because theThis technique sems to have been born of common sense. Incising upon the Black-Figure pots was much more time consuming and a far riskier task than the Red-Figure Technique of painting into the vase where mistakes wouldn't be as unforgiving. Firing techniques remained the same for red-figure pottery

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Red-Figure Vase

References


Athenian Vase Painting. Metropolitan Museum of Art . 26 Nov. 2005 <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/vase/hd_vase.htm>.

Black-Figure Vase. Photograph. 24 Nov. 2005 <http://www.vroma.org/images/ mcmanus_images/maenad_satyr1.jpg>.

Red-Figure Vase. Photograph. 24 Nov. 2005 <http://images.encarta.msn.com/ xrefmedia/sharemed/targets/images/pho/t242/T242082A.jpg>.

Buschor, Ernst. Greek Vase-Painting. New York: Hacker Art Books, 1978.

Whitley, James. The Archaelolgy of Ancient Greece. 2004. Ed. Norman Yoffee. Cambridge: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 2004.

Richter, Gisela M.A. A Handbook of Greek Art: A Survey of the Visual Arts of Ancient Greece. 1959. New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1987.

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