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Making a Molded Athenian Vase


The word "plastic" comes from the Greek verb plasso, meaning, "I model," and describes vases made via molding, which allowed artisans to reproduce complex human, animal, or plant shapes. Potters added handles and mouths to molded clay parts, creating small numbers of nearly identical mass-produced vessels.

This video focuses on an ancient Athenian drinking cup from about 470 B.C., made, in part, by molding. It was designed in the shape of two joined heads: the hero Herakles, and a woman. This presentation explains the cup's construction, painting, and firing.


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