ancient egyption pottery

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Ancient Egyptian Pottery
I chose to do my research paper on Egyptian pottery because in my art appreciation class I was most fascinated with the ancient Egyptian era. I found this website that explained all about how pottery they made helped them function in everyday use. It also told me a lot about how the made everything.
The need to store things led to the development of containers, first among them bags of fiber or leather, woven baskets and pottery. But clay lends itself to many other purposes: bricks, statuettes, funerary offerings, toys and games etc. Pottery, the molding of form out of a formless mass and its becoming imperishable through firing, is the most miraculous kind of creation.
The exquisite artifacts made of gold, carved out of hard stone or formed from glass might make us forget that the Egyptians lived with clay and not the expensive alternatives found in royal tombs. They lived in it, drank from it, cooked in it, ate on it, carried liquids in it, played with it, and when they died, the only offerings of any permanence most could afford were made from it.
Most of the pottery manufactured in Egypt was made of reddish brown clay, which is called Nile silt ware. It served everyday purposes and was often left undecorated. The red color of the fired product was the result of iron compounds oxidizing. The oldest pottery technique consisted in hollowing out a lump of clay by hand and pinching it to give it the final form. Later a flat tool was used to press the clay against the other hand.
The ancient Egyptians used a number of techniques to improve the look of their pottery. Decorations were incised, painted or stuck on and black coloring was the result of exposing the vessels to smoke. Slip, an often pigmented mixture of water and clay of the consistency of cream, was applied to smooth the surface and color the earthenware. Wash, a mixture of pigment, such as red ochre, and water changed or intensified the color of the pottery. Glazing began during the 4th millennium BCE, mostly blue mezzomaiolica, lead based glazing, until Roman times, when true tin-based faience began to appear. An example of the blue glaze is on the statue of a monkey to the right.
The red wares were made without a potter's wheel like all pre-dynastic pottery. After giving them their form, which was sometimes unconventional, they were dried in the sun, sometimes covered with red ochre, and burnished with a stone.

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