A technological approach of the decorative motifs

Wednesday 11 January 2012, by CerAfIm // 1. Goals

Our research comes within the scope of a technological analysis of ceramics. Vessel decoration is regarded as an operational sequence in ceramic production and, as such, special attention is paid to defining the links between the different actions within this process. Our work, therefore, is initially focused on producing a technological definition of motifs. To that end, our studies follow on from H. Camps-Fabrer, H. Balfet and I. Caneva’s seminal work.

Our approach is thus based on a technological analysis of motifs: identifying the technique and the tool used will help us to describe the motif. The motif classification drawn up by I. Caneva (Caneva and Marks, 1990) will be used, with two major changes however: a revision of the technical definition of different decorations and the addition of rolled impression and pivoting incision to the tree structure.

Our classification of motifs is based on identifying the technique, tools and forms (active section units) used, which will help to standardize the description of the motifs. The classification is supplemented by an iconographic reference system for motifs and an analytical reference system for motifs and tools.
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Such a reference system offers many benefits, such as improved criteria for comparing ceramics that come from different sites and, therefore, greater opportunities for attempting cultural interpretations.
The aim is to develop a technological approach to decorative arrangements that might link up with a stylistic approach to decorative outlines.