Presentation on theme: "* PRESENTS * Julia Passamonti-Colamartino aka Iulia Cassia Vegetia Legio III Cyrenaica Maker of Amphorae venetiancat.com."— Presentation transcript:
* PRESENTS * Julia Passamonti-Colamartino aka Iulia Cassia Vegetia Legio III Cyrenaica Maker of Amphorae venetiancat.com
ANATOMY OF AN AMPHORA Construction of a Dressel 1C Wine Amphora
The Plan The finished piece will be roughly half-scale, or about 19 inches (48 cm) The amphora will be watertight and fully usable. It will hold 64 ounces (1.5 liters) of liquid.
Archeological Information: Dressel 1C ORIGIN: Middle Tyrrhenian coast of Italy. DIMENSIONS: 100 to 120cm high, 30cm wide. DIFFUSION: diffused in large amounts in Western Mediterranean, Middle and Northern Europe from the second half of II to the end of I Century B.C. CONTENT: wine.
Part I The BODY: Step I The base is made first, and may be wheel-thrown (shown here) or hand built. The piece is allowed to firm up before adding coils. The bottom of the base is made wide on the outside for support, and will be trimmed later.
Step II The first coil is made and ready. I use an extruder to save time and labor, but they can also be rolled out by hand. Each coil is about one quarter inch (4 mm ) in diameter and about 3 feet (1M) long.
Step III The base is then scored or incised with a needle tool. Scoring allows for better adhesion of the coil to the clay base.
Step IV Slip-a mixture of the clay body and water which is about the consistency of peanut butter, is applied to the incised base. This very important ingredient acts as a sort of glue. The coil is also scored the same as the base, and slip is applied to it as well. Here, the coil is spiraled in a clockwise direction. It can be spiraled counterclockwise as well.
Step V A wooden thumb tool (or the fingers) is used to smooth each coil spiral after it is applied. The vessel is smoothed both on the outside and the inside. This assures a stronger and more even clay wall.
Step VI a The outside is made as smooth and as even as possible with the aid of a rib, shown here. Ribs come in many shapes and sizes as well as many different materials. This one is my favorite. It is made of a soft gel-like rubber. The ancients used wood and bone, and may have used flexible wood or pieces of cartilage.
Step VI b The coils are further smoothed with a rib as the vessel is turning on the wheel. The vessel is now ready for the addition of the next coil.
Step VIII Repeating steps III through VII, the next coil is applied, and then smoothed using a thumb tool and/or fingers, and a rib.
Step IX Continuing steps III through VII, build the vessel up as much as you can without the piece becoming soft and wobbly. When this happens, be sure to smooth the coils and STOP. Allow the vessel to firm up. It is important that the clay be firm enough (this state is called leather hard) to withstand the weight of the subsequent layers of coil spirals, or your vessel will soon look like an avalanche or melted volcano!
Keep building, adding coils, smoothing….you can still see the coil spirals and finger marks on the inside.
Build to about 13 (30cm) Paying close attention to a photograph of the original amphora, the coils are brought in to form the shoulder of the vessel. The piece is allowed to firm up so that it will withstand the weight of the neck without collapsing.
Part II-The NECK: Step I The neck is thrown separately on the wheel. The ancients often combined hand-built and wheel-thrown sections. A wooden chisel tool is used to shape the lip.
Step II Various tools are used in shaping and smoothing Sponge on a stick Rib Elephant ear sponge for smoothing Wet chamois for a smooth lip
Part III ~ Connecting the NECK to the BODY: Step I The neck has been allowed to firm up to the leather hard state The diameter of the body opening is measured using calipers This measurement is than marked on the neck.
Step II The neck is cut off the bat (blue disc) using a needle tool (lower right). The bas is hollowed and thinned from the inside using a fettling knife and needle tool. It is important that the neck be leather hard to do this, or it will distort.
Step III: The neck is connected to the body The edge is scored using a needle tool. The body is scored also, and slip is applied to BOTH edges to insure a strong bond. The neck is placed on the body and lined up. Clay is added and smoothed into the seam. 1 2 3 4
The vessel is now ready to receive handles. After smoothing, the seam is invisible.
Part IV~HANDLES: Step I A piece of clay is rolled into a fat coil. While holding over a bucket of water with one hand (here, my left) it is wet, pulled and squeezed repeatedly. Doing this will compress the clay and elongate the piece. This method is called handle pulling.
Step II The clay is pulled until it becomes a long strap. 1 2 The clay is stretched and compressed into a long, thin strap. 3 The strap is cut from the upper coil mass and allowed to firm slightly 4 The 2 handles are then cut from the single strap, bent, and allowed to firm to the leather hard state.
Step III Using the scoring and slip technique, (as when the coil spirals were added) the handles are applied.
PART V: Final Trimming This is a separate support called a bottle chuck which had been specially made to receive the amphora. It is shown here held in place by a Giffen Grip, which fits right over the wheel head. It has been allowed to become leather hard and will eventually be fired with the amphora. It can then be used over and over again.
The amphora is placed upside down in the chuck, and soft clay balls are added to hold it in place.
Using a trimming tool, the excess clay is trimmed away.
The vessel is allowed to dry slowly and thoroughly before it is fired.