21. One Potter: Multiple Clay Body Types
Transitions, Urbanism, and Collapse in the Bronze Age - Essays in Honor of Suzanne Richard - Jesse C. Long, Jr.
Gloria London [+]
Three studies of traditional craft specialists in Cyprus, the Philippines, and Cameroon, demonstrate that potters regularly work with clays derived from multiple sources. As a result, the jugs, jars, and cookware produced by an potter will vary depending on where s/he shaped the products. Potters intentionally mix clays to create a less porous clay body. For water jugs, the same potters create a more porous fabric by using one clay only. All of the wares examined here are destined for use by the local populace and do not reach tourist markets. The potters work in their courtyards, in a small factory-like setting, or as itinerants. They shape utilitarian round bottomed pots from whatever clay is available. The archaeological implications concern: sources of variation of the work of craft specialists and within contemporaneous assemblages of ancient ceramics.