How to Replicate Mayan Pottery

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Replicating Mayan pottery is actually a very straightforward process, so long as you've got access to the right tools. Replicate Mayan pottery with help from a ceramic artist and instructor in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Making Pottery
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Beth Fleischer, and today we're going to talk about how to replicate a piece on Mayan pottery. What separates Mayan from any other kind of pottery as for one the shape is usually not thrown on a wheel, the early Mayans didn't have wheels so pinch pots, slabs, hand formed pots. And then they were highly decorated using slips and carving in what are called logo grams and those are pictures that replicate scenes from their daily life. So here is a pot that we're going to decorate with a logo gram so I have some colored slip here and I'm just going to put this, it's on a turn table and I'm going to turn that around. So colored slip is just clay from your clay body that is mixed with pigments to achieve different colors. So this is a lighter colored clay or a clay that has some tint in it to give this lighter color so that when I carve my picture in you'll be able to see the clay from the background. You want to make sure pieces are leather hard before you start to apply your slip and carve into them. Once you have your slip applied you can go ahead and get some sort of sharp tool, this is a sqraffito tool, you can use anything sharp though a needle tool, get a pencil, anything that has a little tip and then you can start to add your designs to your pottery. So the first one I'm going to make is a traditional Mayan symbol for the sun, which looks like this and we're just continue all the way around and it can be the same symbol all the way around, it can be different symbols. That's perfect just keep doing that. And there you have your Mayan pottery. I'm Beth Fleischer and thanks for watching.


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