Marcia Selsor on sun 12 jan 97
What you say is very interesting in light of the way Greek red on black
painting was done. It seems that recently, new understanding as to the
means of those great Greek pots achieved the black and red imagery. It
seems they reduced and re-oxidized turning the red slip back to red but
the black had sealed due to finer particles and did not re-oxidize. . .
..amazing feats of clay!!! by those in the knows.
Marcia in Montana
Vince Pitelka on tue 14 jan 97
>It seems that recently, new understanding as to the
>means of those great Greek pots achieved the black and red imagery. It
>seems they reduced and re-oxidized turning the red slip back to red but
>the black had sealed due to finer particles and did not re-oxidize. . .
>Marcia in Montana
Years ago, when I was teaching foundations at Northeastern U. in Boston, I
used to spend my lunch hours at the MFA across the street. They have a
wonderful museum store, and one day I found a marvelous little book called
TECHNIQUES OF ATTIC PAINTED POTTERY. It was published about ten years ago,
I believe, and it gave exhaustive descriptions of the Attic
Black-Figure/Red-Figure process. Unfortunately, the book was very
expensive, so over a period of a month or so, I took notes on most of the
book right there in the bookstore. The clerks were tolerant. I have moved
three times since then, and the notes are nowhere to be seen. What I
remember is that the black slip remained black because of wood ash mixed
into that slip, which fluxed it just enough to lock in the reduction. My
mind boggles at the idea of putting those extraordinary pots in a rather
crude updraft kiln, and heating them to a narrow range of temperature just
hot enough to vitrify only the black slip. Too cool, and the pot
re-oxidizes to red all over. Too hot and the whole thing stays black. Of
course, the secret was the draw-rings in the flue opening at the top, which
would be pulled and cooled one at a time to determine when the appropriate
temperature had been reached.
I'd love to know whether it was truly because of the wood ash, or because of
the difference in particle size. Anyone else have more recent information,
or an inside line to the 5th century BC?
Vince Pitelka - vpitelka@Dekalb.Net
Phone - home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801
Appalachian Center for Crafts, Smithville TN 37166