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Ceramics Paper

639 words - 3 pages

It is believed that ceramics started after the primitive people observed the way earth reacts to fire. They must have noticed that on place that fire has touched or passed, the earth became very hard. They began to search for the material which we now know as clay, and baked and cooked them in extremely high temperatures to use as containers for water, rice, and other necessities. The practice became widespread around the world, though each civilization had its own culture.
The ceramic culture of the Vietnamese borrowed many aspects from its neighboring countries, such as India, Cambodia, Champa, and most especially China, while at the same time having decorative motifs, glaze types, production methods, and attitude toward potting techniques so varied from the ones of the civilizations mentioned. It is undeniable, however, that China had a lot of influence among the Vietnamese ceramic culture during domination from 111 BC to 939 AD. proven by the ceramics excavated from ...view middle of the document...

The widespread foreign influence combined with their own artistic techniques helped them create the most sophisticated ceramic tradition of Southeast Asia especially around the reign of the Ngo and Tran Dynasties approximately from 10th to 15th centuries. Vietnamese art and ceramics during this period of independence flourished. The ceramics from this period were believed to have been greatly influenced by both ancient native styles and the Tang and later Song dynasty's art.
As mentioned earlier, ceramic cultures vary from civilization to civilization. While the Vietnamese made their pots out of grayish-white clay from the Red River Valley, the Egyptian made theirs with ubiquitous, reddish-brown clay which they called Nile silt ware. They often left their pots undecorated, especially during the Badarian and Amratian periods (3800-3400 BCE), with the main purpose of serving as containers as opposed to providing aesthetical pleasure. The red colour of the fired product resulted from the iron compounds oxidizing. The whitish marl on the other hand, a mixture of clay and lime, was found only in a few locations in Upper Egypt, such as at Qena. It required higher firing temperatures under better controlled conditions than other clays.
Egyptian pots were usually made without a potter's wheel like all pre-dynastic pottery. After giving them their form, they were dried in the sun, usually covered with red ochre, and burnished with a stone. Thus a smooth shiny surface was achieved, which showed off better the native reddish colour of the clay. They were fired either in open fires or very simple kilns.
Egyptian pottery as decorations started later on during Naqada II, ca 3300-3000 BCE when line drawings were sometimes scratched into the polished surface. The most common designs that were used by the Egyptians ranged from simple geometrical shapes to hunting scenes.
Today, each civilization still practices their own pottery techniques and practices, though neighboring civilizations have influenced each other along with the advancement of technology over time. With the help of modern science, pottery became more productive with results more efficient and more accessible to everyone.

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