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Getting The Perfect Gloss From Terra Sig.

terra sigillata improving earthenware

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#21 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 10:51 PM

Great resources, Angie. I'd like to add Ann Shepherd's Ceramics for the Archeologist and Fred Matson's Ceramics and Man. Matson's disciples continue to present Current Research on Ceramic Materials at the AM. Anthropological Association Meetings annually. I have given several papers at these meetings on my research in Spain and Central Asia.
his book is a bible for current research in the last quarter of the 20th century.
Marcia Selsor

#22 Tyler Miller

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 01:48 AM

Marcia,

 

I get the feeling I may have trod on some toes with my reply.  If this is the case, I deeply apologize.  I do see where you're coming from now.  My concern was that you were advocating your post reduction method as historical.  It was my impression that the three stage firing was universally accepted as how it was done, and I had misunderstood the kernel of your posts--the importance of the sinter was what you were getting at, rather than the importance of the colour.  The confusion was mine.  I was thinking you were advocating it as an historical technique, and my post was based on thinking you had got the sintered/non-sintered portions and the means of achieving colour backwards.  I do greatly respect your opinion.

 

I will definitely make an attempt to track down the books you recommend in your most recent post.  I've found Ann Shepherd's book in pdf format.  Thank you for the recommendation. Ceramics and Man, however, seems to be out of print and my usual sources such as abebooks.com etc. don't seem to yield any results.  Perhaps you could summarize the relevant portions or recommend a book seller?

 

I have read through "Looking at Greek Vases" and I'm not sure there's anything out of keeping with what I've said in it.  It mentions post-firing colours, however I interpreted this to mean paint.  The illitic comments I made came from this article: http://onlinelibrary...0994.x/abstract

 

Angie,

 

I've handled kylices in person--a professor of mine had a small collection bequeathed to him in the late 1960s by a private collector while he was at Oxford.  I can assure you that they can be that glossy.  I also highly doubt that the previously linked amphora photographed in a museum setting was photoshopped.  You can almost make out the reflection of the photographer in the black gloss.  (link here: http://en.wikipedia....Louvre_G216.jpg)

 

I also own Athenian Vase Construction.  See?

 

Attached File  tylervase.jpg   228.06KB   0 downloads

 

I can assure you that the photograph of the broken kylix bottom is quite shiny.  But my point wasn't about the level of shine per se, but rather the fact that it achieved a shine at all, given that the slip would have been applied with no more care than what I would put into applying a jug handle.  I found that fact alone remarkable.

 

I do appreciate the links you've posted.  I've seen the JSTOR article before as well as the link on terra sigillata, they both have gone into my efforts with terra sig, and into my posts on this thread as well, even if I've not been properly articulate.  I'm afraid I cannot view your last link, it comes up as a 404 not found.   :(

 

I do appreciate you guys taking the time to reply.  Again, thank you for your help and if I've bruised an egos or stepped on any toes, I deeply apologize.  Terra sigillata is certainly the turf of "ye twain," and I yield to your expertise.

 

-Tyler



#23 PeterH

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 01:34 PM

Tyler, Try www.bookfinder.com for Fred Matson's Ceramics and Man, they list several copies,



#24 CarlCravens

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 02:07 PM

I just bought Ceramics and Man (paperback) through Amazon for $8 (including shipping).


Carl (Wichita, KS)

#25 Tyler Miller

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 02:34 PM

Yeah, I feel a little stupid. I didn't get any results because I was looking for "Cermics and Man" by Batson. :P Ordered a copy via Amazon. Thanks for pointing that out, guys.

#26 Angie Days

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 09:22 PM

This is the full citation, google it, the full article is a PDF.  If you can't open it for any reason I'll send it to you. Enjoy.

 

 Y. MANIATIS, E. ALOUPI ,  A. D. STALIOS. NEW EVIDENCE FOR THE NATURE OF THE ATTIC BLACK GLOSS. Archaeometry.Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 23–34, February 1993



#27 Tyler Miller

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 10:48 AM

Thanks for the article, Angie. I find the presence of an amorphous glassy layer interesting. Their discussion of weathering of the glassy layer is also of interest. The chemical composition of the body and glaze was fascinating--pointing to an ash as a deflocculant with low soluble phosphorus. I wonder how they made certain of the concentration of the alkali in the water for deflocculation.

At any rate, I very much enjoyed the article. Thank you.I think we can say for certain that modern terra sigillata isn't Greek gloss.

#28 Min

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:39 AM

Was re-reading Vince Pitelka's terra sig article this morning. Near the end of the article he speaks about the glassy surface achieved by the ancient Greeks with no burnishing. 

 

This is the first paragraph, he goes on for several more expanding on this theory.

 

"Is it Possible to Make a Terra Sig that will Develop a Gloss with No Polishing?
I believe that my reference to "super refined terra sig" is appropriate in the context of other contemporary studio terra sig processes, but it recently came to my attention that the glassy surfaces on classic ancient Greek red-figure and black-figure wares were achieved with little or no polishing, and thus the terra sig must have been refined to a far greater degree. Recently I was contacted by a man conducting experiments to create such a sig. His process started out like mine, but after concentrating the liquid back to a specific gravity of 1.20, he repeated the whole process again, and again, and again, I believe about ten times. This process is ripe for experimentation. On the second and subsequent siphonings, you wouldn't encounter any distinct layer of identifiable sediments, and would have to simply sacrifice some arbitrary amount at the bottom of the settled mixture each time - again, an area for experimentation. The beauty of this process is that on the way to re-concentrating the suspension to a specific gravity of 1.20 after each siphoning, you could pause at 1.15 and try out a bit of sig on a piece to check the degree of spontaneous gloss.
"

 

Rest of the article is here: http://iweb.tntech.e...l/terra_sig.htm

(bottom of the article is the Greek subject)

 

 



#29 Tyler Miller

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:56 PM

Thanks for the lead, Min! I'll give it a read with tonight's firing :)

 

Edit:  Re-reading, Angie posted this before, I've read it already, but thank you for thinking of me, Min.



#30 Wyndham

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 03:17 PM

Just wondering if that many refinements with such small particle size could also concentrate either natural salts or alkali in the slip water, forming elementary glaze? 

Very interesting line of development, like a good mystery novel.

Wyndham



#31 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:15 AM

Tyler, 

His name is Matson. He retired from Penn State University.  He has written quite a lot and his followers continue to do research and publish. Anthropologist have some great points but some also lack ceramic hands on experience and sometimes miss the reality of working with clay.

 

I BTW did not feel like you were stepping on toes. Sintering was the kernel I was getting at. Post firing terra sig is not an historical process as far as I know. Just saying it is interesting to see the results.

 

Marcia







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