Join Kathy King, director of education in the Harvard Ceramics Program, as she demonstrates the techniques of ancient Greek potters in crafting terracotta vessels.
Greek potters took full advantage of the possibilities offered by their medium. Athenian clay vessels were often created using a two-part mold, with the resulting halves joined together. The form of this striking mug—half donkey, half ram—reflects the process used in its making. Composite vessels typically juxtaposed symbolic “opposites”—in this case a noble ram and a lowly donkey.
This video is included in the digital tool for our special exhibition “Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes, and Kings,” on view September 7, 2018–January 6, 2019. The show presents a stunning range of elaborate animal-shaped vessels that span continents and millennia, vividly illustrating how ideas and artistic traditions were exchanged among cultures.
Crucial support for the exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.