A window to the past
The "Decorating Techniques on Roman Ceramic Drinking Vessels" exhibition presents selected Roman ceramic drinking vessels as well as decorating techniques from the time. The samples belong to the types of fine tableware that are actually imitations of utensils made of precious metals and glass: thin-walled pottery and terra sigillata.
Clay is a material that allows the application of a large number of decorative techniques and motifs. Decorative ornaments on ceramic bowls can be done before (on a smooth or raw unbaked clay surface) or after firing (on a baked unglazed and glazed surface), while some techniques can be applied both before and after firing.
The exhibited samples of drinking vessels explain in more detail only some decorating techniques: carving, smoothing, applying, barbotine and impressing:
· The carving technique is performed by carving with differently shaped tool tips and different pressure strengths onto the raw unbaked clay surface.
· Smoothing is performed by scraping the surface of the bowls to achieve a high gloss on the ceramic.
· With the application technique, the desired motif or decoration is attached to the semi-hard, still moist clay.
· The barbotine technique is a type of application that creates a relief decoration on a ceramic bowl. Decoration is created by gluing slip (liquid clay) to the rough surfaces of the bowl before firing.
· The impression technique is a technique of making relief ornaments made in a one-piece mould (negative).
Author of the exhibition is Tomislav Franić.