What is the material process of making this? Was it hand built? Or done on a wheel?
This was used before wheels came into use. Designs were painted on vessels before firing. Pottery wheels were not used at this point, so most Nasca ceramic works were done by hand through building up coil walls, then smoothing, and sometimes applying a thin coat of soft clay slip to create a smooth surface for painting. Vessel surfaces were smooth and shiny as a result of the careful burnishing (a way of polishing by rubbing) in the late stages of drying.
Designs were painted on vessels before firing. Most Nasca ceramic works were done by hand through building up coil walls, then smoothing, and sometimes applying a thin coat of soft clay slip to create a smooth surface for painting. Vessel surfaces were smooth and shiny as a result of the careful burnishing (a way of polishing by rubbing) in the late stages of drying.
A common motif in Nasca art is the Anthropomorphic Mythical Being, or “masked god”, interpreted by scholars as a symbolic representation of deities residing in nature, The multicolored peppers symbolize the importance of crops, abundance and fertility as shown on body of the vessels.
Where did the pigments on these vessels come from?
Nasca artists used mineral based pigments to produce slip paints in a variety of colors including black, white, purple, yellow, gray, brown, violet, pink, and various shades of red and orange. Minerals, particularly iron oxides along with kaolin and carbon, were ground into a fine powder and mixed with fine clay in varying ratios to produce different color densities.
That's really cool. I found a book in France about pigments, it's really interesting!
I find it so interesting how since the beginning of humanity (as far as we know) people have been finding ways to add color to their world. It's a beautiful thing.
Yeah, and the funny thing is when there was a color used a lot in a century, it was not because of the fashion but because of the price of pigment or because of religion, like how the Catholics used to think that colors were created by God and nobody should mix colors to create new ones.
You're so right about color! I also think it's funny how vibrant blue throughout cultures and time is always a unique or rare or sought after color. In Renaissance and Medieval religious paintings, you had to pay extra to have more blue on the Virgin's clothing, for example, because lapis lazuli (the material used for blue) was rare and expensive and had to be imported. Also, in ancient Egypt there are many beautiful objects created out of 'faience,' a brilliant blue material.
I think it's because blue doesn't exist in the nature, I mean that you can't find it in plants.
Great point, it's much easier to get reds, browns, oranges, greens (literally, earth tones) from the earth! On the third floor of the Museum we have Renaissance paintings and our Egyptian collection where you can see examples of those blues.
Cool! I'll go check it out, thanks.