I used my nail and the tip of my finger to make the pattern on the outside of this pot. I was fascinated to learn that archaeologists had taken a cast of an impression pattern on the side of a pot and found that the indent was made by a nail. In the explanation they theorised that the person (they said woman) might have grown their nail specifically to decorate the pot.
Well they will not be able to do that with my design as it is too shallow and made not by an impression but by scraping my nail while the wheel was turning.
How well is my potting going? Well I am less messy. I can wear a jumper and not get myself covered in clay anymore – this week has seen that happen. I also know that I can make certain shapes relatively easily and consistently, this shape is one of them. I am improving.
So with regards to throwing – I have got small – can I get different shapes and then get bigger?
The start of the research
Today I started to input information into my pottery timeline. You can access the information by clicking in the picture below or through the dropdown menu linked to the 100 Pots in 100 Days menu item.
So far I have had four interviews. Two with Amal Khreisheh the Curator of Archaeology at SWHT. Amal looks after the SANHS collections and enables SANHS members to view the artefacts that we own and they look after. I have also had two meetings with David Dawson who is an Archaeologist specialising in medieval and later pottery, analysis of pottery and pottery production. My brain feels so full after talking to both of them that I am surprised I retain anything. I have taken to recording the conversations and then using them as a basis to research.
I found the variables that are contained within our understanding of prehistoric pottery (I have only studied up to the Romans so far) amazing. So much is not known and a large amount guess work. I love the stories and the context though so I will tell you the possibilities and how they interest me as we go along.
The earliest pottery that has been found was plain, pit fired and fragile. When you realise how old this is and that it can be dated – it does makes you pause and need to take a breath.