Vessels from the Past

Vessels from the PastOlive jugs bearing the name of this commune are typically large—more than three feet in height—with a shape much like the Mediterranean fruit they often carried. Pottery of this size was not crafted on a wheel but rather by using an ancient technique called the rope-thrown method. After winding ropes around a wooden framework, artisans applied wet clay to the outside, smoothing the surface and waiting for the formation to dry prior to removing the inner structure, which left a beautiful horizontal pattern inside. The interior and neck were then glazed before firing in order to protect the terra-cotta from absorbing any oil it might store.

Text Leslie Bennett Smith
Photography Mac Jamieson
Styling Melissa Sturdivant Smith

To learn more about these collectibles, see “Vessels from the Past” in the October 2019 issue, available at

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