Greek Ceramics Show


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Here's a short writing exercise slideshow, designed to teach about expository writing

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Greek Ceramics Show

  1. 1. Greek Ceramics Expository Writing Practice Hello, class. Today we’ll be looking at Greek ceramics, and at expository writing.
  2. 2. What is pottery? Ceramics: clay fired in a kiln Most Greek pottery is terra-cotta high iron oxide content = red color dinner plates to religious objects numerous traditional shapes First, what is pottery? Well, it’s clay — a kind of earth — fired in a kiln at high temperature, usually starting around 600° F. Greece had excellent clay, and shaped it into beautiful objects; these objects for a historical record for ancient Greece.
  3. 3. Expository Writing Expository writing “explains” it offers discussions, reasons, assessment, purpose and backstory. It often uses phrases like “because”, “in order to”, and “so that”. It offers commentary on WHY. The second thing we’ll do is learn to write expository sentences. Exposition means “explanation”. We write to EXPLAIN, or to answer WHY something is the way it is. For each image in the slides, try to write a sentence that answers a WHY question.
  4. 4. In-Class Practice For each image... Write 2 expository sentences, or... 1 expository and 1 narrative, or... 1 expository and 1 descriptive, or... 1 descriptive and 1 narrative sentence. You should do this by writing two expository sentences for each image, or some combination of the expository and descriptive sentences we’ve already learned to write.
  5. 5. In-Class Practice For expository writing, think about underlying causes Toyota Example: Five Whys... asking why 5 times gets you a better, more detailed answer. Write that one. Try using Toyota’s FIVE WHYs process to write. Instead of writing down the first BECAUSE that comes into your head, try working from the third or fourth.
  6. 6. Late Minoan Pottery 1600 BCE Island of Crete Minoan Society Storage Jars, 1.2m tall, Palace of Knossos; note holes for carrying-harness This is a Pithos, or storage jar from Crete. It’s Minoan and dates from around 1600 BC. It’s big enough to put me inside. Notice the lugs on the side, with holes for holding ropes in place around the jar, for carrying it around.
  7. 7. Cretan Design Sense Even storage jars can get pretty fancy 1.3 m tall, painted with double axes (religious symbol) and vines c. 1550 BCE This is another pithos, large enough to hold me. It’s painted with double axes, a religious symbol, BECAUSE it’s probably a storage jar for a temple or a priestly family.
  8. 8. Octopus Jar, Crete c. 1600 BCE Two wheel-made bowls sealed together to form globe shape tentacles writhe all over the jar. We’ve seen this Minoan octopus jar before. Maybe you notice the lug or disk on the side of the jar? It’s just around the eyes. The disk is there BECAUSE the jar is actually two bowl-shapes from a wheel fitted together.
  9. 9. Mycenaean Pottery The Enkomi Painter c. 1600 BCE from Enkomi on mainland Greece bird cleaning a bull’s horns and neck-ruff This a bowl by the Enkomi painter. It came from a town in Greece. Notice how few basic patterns make up the design of the bull and the bird. The painter has used a minimum of design patterns BECAUSE he was in a rush to finish.
  10. 10. Kemares Ware about 1400 BCE Mainland Greece “Mycenaean” Olive leaf pattern This is a wine jar, but it has patterns of olive leaves on it. Why olive leaves? BECAUSE olives and olive oil were an important source of wealth for the Mycenaean Greeks.
  11. 11. Beautiful, but... somewhat less sophisticated. This octopus isn’t quite as exciting or naturalistic as the other c. 1400 BCE Yes, here’s the Mycenaean Octopus jar. Why is this one so much more frightening or scary than the playful Minoan one? BECAUSE the eyes are smaller, BECAUSE the tentacles don’t writhe so much, and BECAUSE the body is vertical on the jar, rather than at an angle.
  12. 12. Military Themes, too Minoan pottery doesn’t have soldiers Mycenaean pottery has lots of warriors usually marching c. 1250 BCE The Minoans didn’t have warriors on their pottery, but the Mycenaeans did. In fact, most Mycenaean pottery has warriors on it BECAUSE the Mycenaeans were more warlike, and had a society that glorified military prowess.
  13. 13. The Greek Dark Ages c. 1200 BCE, Greece hits a rough time. Trade collapses Plague destroys towns and nations knowledge of written language vanishes lasts until about 880 BCE There’s a gap in the historical record of ancient Greece, running from about 1200 BC until a little after 880 BC. There isn’t any pottery or any writing, BECAUSE the Dorian Invasion seems to have killed off most of the craftsmen and most of the scribes.
  14. 14. Geometric Pottery New pottery style appears with recovery called “Geometric” principles - 1) cover the whole pot; 2) use minimal ‘natural’ designs or decoration The new pottery that appears is called Geometric, BECAUSE it consists entirely of lines and angles. Where animal shapes appear, they are merely geometric sketches of real birds, bulls, etc.
  15. 15. Water Jars (Olpé) c. 875 BCE Meander: wandering line pattern, like rivers human figures, but... crude triangles not really real When people do appear on Geometric pottery, they are only sketches of people — stick figures, really. Humans are secondary, BECAUSE the geometry is still more important than the people.
  16. 16. Geometric Style c. 850 BCE 1 meter tall Funeral Urn for making offerings to the dead appearance of animals and chariots Yet people finally do make an appearance in Greek ceramics, BECAUSE people are becoming important in Greek society again. The largest ceramics are funerary urns, which function like headstones in a modern graveyard. THey use pottery jars BECAUSE the Greeks fill them with wine or oil as offerings to their dead relatives.
  17. 17. Sophisticated but Unreal Most of the pottery is still pretty geometrical. It’s very sophisticated, BECAUSE the potters and painters are very good at what they do. However, they’re not good artists yet, BECAUSE a lot of knowledge has been lost.
  18. 18. Sailor saying Farewell The potters are starting to be asked to tell stories, though. By 780 BC, painted pots are starting to tell stories from the Greek myths, BECAUSE the Iliad and the Odyssey are so popular. Here’s Odysseus leaving Penelope to sail for the Trojan War.
  19. 19. Flat Image from Bowl
  20. 20. Mythology in Pottery Painters use myths as source for paintings Odysseus blinding the Cyclops Polyphemus c. 690 BCE still can’t give up filling all space, Certain stories, like Odysseus putting out the eye of the Cyclops, appear again and again, BECAUSE they are so popular.
  21. 21. Orientalizing Style c. 750 BCE: Greeks have money... start traveling... see the world (Egypt) Orientalizing Style appears, inspired by Egypt and Mesopotamia Then the Greeks, newly wealthy and recovering from their 200-year decline, started traveling again. Pottery starts appearing with animal heads, BECAUSE Greeks are seeing statues of Egyptian gods and goddesses, and replicating the animal heads on their own work.
  22. 22. Black-Figure Ware c. 600 BCE Late Archaic Style Black figures on orange/red ground detail scratched into base of black paint The Geometric style remains the norm from about 900 BC until about 600 BC, when there is a sudden shift. Greeks begin making a new style of pottery called Black Figure Ware, BECAUSE of new artists’ techniques discovered in Athens.
  23. 23. Artemis slays Actaeon A lot of the old Geometric designs vanish, BECAUSE the figures emerge from the darkness like images of fire. The red clay of Greece makes the figures luminous against a black background.
  24. 24. Red-Figure Ware Black paint forms detailed lines on red background Possible to make highly detailed pictures Actaeon slain by his own hounds, c. 500 BCE About 100 years later, still another style emerges, in which the whole piece is painted black, except for red figures with black detail lines. Because of this, Greek art takes a decided turn toward realistic pictures on pottery.
  25. 25. Hermes guides the Dead Geometric and floral designs remain popular, BECAUSE they repeat and a beginning potter or ceramics painter can learn the craft this way. But the master potters are gradually producing elaborate pieces of art as trophies and home adornments.
  26. 26. Detail of Artemis Some stories are known in shorthand only from the pottery, because we have no complete written sources for them.
  27. 27. Pythia & Theseus Because so many pieces of pottery are needed (plates, bowls, mixing dishes, drinking cups, perfume boxes, wine jars, storage jars and more), many stories from Greek myths get told this way.