Roman Pottery Forged its Own Path
When it comes to pottery it is common knowledge that various cultures throughout history seemed to develop a style of making and adorning pottery that was uniquely there on. This is very true when it comes to the Roman style of pottery. Though it began in a manner that was very Etruscan in style, Roman pottery soon became an art unto itself. They did not borrow from the Greeks by painting decorations onto the pottery but rather molded shapes and forms into the clay as adornment.
Most pottery in ancient Rome was initially made and used locally rather than traded with merchants traveling near and far. In the day of Augustus this began to change with the creation of pottery factories where the Romans began manufacturing pottery in order to sell it. This became very popular as factory owners could make pottery cheaply through methods learned from other cultures, such as the use of molds, and sell it for a nice sized profit. It wasn't long before this style of pottery making was being imitated far and wide creating some beautiful but distinctly different pieces that were molded and formed like those created in Roman factories.
Most of the pottery made with the new method of construction or manufacturing was red in color rather than the black of the earlier pieces that were often painted black. Roman pottery was generally made by one of four methods. First is the method mentioned above involving the use of molds created by master craftsmen. The next method is known as the coil method. This is using a long coil of clay that looks like rolled up sausage. This method would be known as the coil method. The third method is known as the pinch-pot method and it is really rather self-explanatory. Finally, there is the potter's wheel. This method allows for very even shaping of the clay and is often referred to as "throwing" pottery. Oddly enough, these are among the basic methods used for making pottery today. The more things change, the more some things stay the same, right?
Roman pottery can be found in digs around the world. The influence of the Romans was far reaching. It makes perfect sense that their products would be influential in the world at large while the Romans ruled most of the world. They were not, however, most well noted for their pottery. It didn't seem to play the pivotal role in Roman life that it managed to play in Egypt though it, the impact of Roman pottery, was still significant as we are finding these pieces in historic excavations the world over.
Glazing was the exception rather than the rule for ancient Roman pottery. This is yet another way in which Roman pottery stood apart from other styles of pottery during that period of time and even today. When Roman pottery was glazed it was often done using metals for the process. The result was a beautiful glaze that closely resembled glass.
If you are looking for yet another fascinating type of pottery to study and learn about, Roman pottery lacks the sophistication and beauty of many other styles of pottery throughout history and around the world but stands in its own right for it's simple beauty and elegance. This is something that many other pieces of pottery cannot claim and something that has been imitated and yet never quite duplicated by other cultures.
Quite literally, the ancient Romans had simple beauty down to an art form when it came to pottery. Often the most recognizable for its lack of adornment, Roman pottery remains popular today among collectors and those who visit museums and galleries that are housing these fine collections. For those who love pottery for the sake of pottery there are fewer styles that should offer more appeal than that of the ancient Romans.