Date – Area

Lia Papailia – Ceramist
Marilena Michopoulou – Ceramist
October – November 2016
April – May 2017

Clay vases are the “remnants” of ancient civilizations, as they have been unearthed in quantities greater than any other archaeological finding. In the history of art, people of many civilizations from various ages have created rich visual languages. However, never has such narrative imagery been disseminated to such a great scale and affluence, as it has in the case of ancient Greek pottery.

The great number of the inscribed vases saved, mainly originating from the Attica region, were mostly art objects with quite a wide thematic spectrum in their visualizations drawing from mythological and everyday life themes; these constitute the source of valuable information for the religious, private and public life of the ancient Greeks, as well as bearing witness for the diachronic value of ceramic art. One does not only admire the variety of themes and patterns or the design found on the vases, but mostly the close relationship between the body of the vase and the “illustrations-decorations”.

Ancient Greek vases emerged by the ancient Greek vision and morphology of objects – that is, the notion of “plasticity” – crossed with the intense illustrative imagination of that era. By studying the history of ancient Greek ceramic art, we can actually outline the evolution of ancient Greek art itself. Of course, in comparison with other arts, like architecture, sculpture painting or monument painting that also created visual representations, ceramic art is an “ars humilis” (a humble art), and therefore provided enough space for experimentation and unique themes.

How can the contemporary ceramist make good use of all this accumulated knowledge, by placing it in a new framework and at the same time avoiding imitation or copying?


Courses are designed in a way that will provide you with theoretical and practical knowledge through rich visual input; also, they will provide you with methods of approaching the study of ancient ceramic art, aiming at contemporary applications.

There will also be a brief outline of the historical evolution of vase crafting and vase coloring, starting from the early art vases (5000 – 3000 BC), and moving on to the protogeometric amphorae and to the Hellenistic ewers of the 3rd and the 2nd centuries B.C. At the same time, there will be an inspection of the basic molds, the decorative patterns of every era, as well as the decoration techniques and their applications to new objects.

Special attention will be placed on the decorative techniques while experimenting on samples, using Terra Sigillata and Sgraffito techniques.

We will also learn to make basic types of slips, using metallic glaze paints.

These courses are ideal for beginners and instruction will mostly be private.

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