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Pottery demonstrations to St Fagans Craft Festivals

Staff Exchange date: 
Tuesday, 26 May, 2015 to Friday, 29 May, 2015
To participate to the Craft Festival as expert in the realization of pottery of Bronze age time typical of terramare settlements (like in Montale). To meet other craftsmen like me with a specilisation in archaeological findings reproductions. To share with the other demonstrator about techniques and methods, which were very similar in Europe during Bronze age time.

During the St Fagans’ Craft Festival I reproduced the model of a pottery bowl typical for the Middle Bronze Age 3 of Montale Terramara settlement (1450 – 1350 BC).

The technique used by the artisans of terramare settlements for the production of pottery envisages the use of two different methods, which I used one after the other: “mould “and “coils”.
I began with the mould techniques laying a sheet of clay inside a concave wooden mould in order to obtain an open form vase.
Then, I use the coil technique superimposing a layer of clay in order to obtain a final shape.
Only at this precise moment is possible to add the handles which are often decorated with scars/grooves or incisions made by wooden, stone or deer horn tools and points.
I used a small stone to realize bands of grooves on the surface of the pot and a pointed instrument to make incisions and for cutting the clay. I verified some problems for the decoration because of the wind and the sun which quickly dried the surface of the clay.
I repeatedly smoothed the clay with a small stone and a piece of wool in order to obtain a polished effect which will become a real brilliance after the cooking. This is the usual aspect of the refined pottery set of terramare used for the service of meals (solid or beverages).

The realization of the bowl appealed several visitors first of interested in the particular decorated “horn hadle” (falcata). The entire reproduction, excluded the cooking, required five hours of working. The visitors were amazed and fascinated by the absence of a lathe in the modeling work.
I had the possibility to talk and explain to the visitors about the technique in use during Bronze Age in Italy which corresponded to several other European examples.
I finally, very important thing!, had the possibility to share about technical aspects and methods together with other craftsmen demonstrating at St Fagans Museum during the Craft festival, coming from different European countries and museums (both partners in OpenArch project and from Wales more in general). My experience increased with new, original causes for reflection.

Number of Participants: 
Raika Dorotea Cannone


the stand of Raika
graphic reproduction of bronze age terramare...
graphic reproduction of terramare bowl...
the panel she showed to the public for...