Art & Archaeology

Dave the Potter: Resistance through poetic pottery

By Guest Contributor / February 7, 2024

David Drake, commonly known as Dave the Potter, was an enslaved potter who is now one of the most famous names in Edgefield pottery. This CTT overviews Drake’s life and his legacy.

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Video: Inside the world of fine dining—the stoneware of Jono Pandolfi

By Lisa McDonald / December 20, 2023

Food presentation can significantly impact a person’s overall enjoyment of a meal. In recent years, the stoneware dishes by ceramic artist and designer Jono Pandolfi have become in-demand items at Michelin-starred restaurants and other fine dining establishments.

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Video: From pollution to pigments—Appalachian community turns mine waste into marketable product

By Lisa McDonald / December 13, 2023

Cleaning water affected by acid mine drainage is an expensive process, which makes it difficult for rural communities to remediate local waterways. Rural Action, an Appalachian-based nonprofit, has a project called True Pigments that aims to fund the water treatment process by selling pigments made from iron oxide extracted from the mine drainage.

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Video: Glass ornaments sparkle for the holidays

By Guest Contributor / December 6, 2023

Glass ornaments have played a central role in holiday decorations for almost two centuries. Learn about this history and where to find glass ornaments for this year’s winter celebrations.

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Video: Empty Bowls project—fighting food insecurity through ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / November 22, 2023

Food insecurity remains at an elevated level due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Empty Bowls project provides a unique way to raise money for food banks by engaging the local arts community.

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A ‘wow’ finding—surface weathering transforms ancient Roman glass into natural photonic crystal

By Guest Contributor / November 17, 2023

Photonic crystals are manufactured structures used in many advanced optical devices to control the flow of light. Researchers in Italy and the U.S. discovered that an ancient Roman glass fragment naturally formed a photonic crystal structure on its surface through environmental weathering.

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Video: Chocolate pots—serving luxury in the 17th and 18th centuries

By Lisa McDonald / October 25, 2023

As chocolate became a fashionable beverage throughout Europe in the 17th century, it became big business to design and sell cookware specifically designed for preparing chocolate. Learn about the European chocolatière, or chocolate pot, in today’s CTT.

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Video: Beckon in a fall of good fortune with Japanese maneki-neko

By Lisa McDonald / October 4, 2023

Many cultures have symbols or rituals that are widely viewed as lucky within that society. The maneki-neko, or Japanese “beckoning cat,” is one cultural symbol that has grown to be recognized almost universally as a figure of good luck. Learn about the history of maneki-neko and how to make one for yourself.

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Video: Movies in glass—the LIFETILES of Rufus Butler Seder

By Lisa McDonald / August 30, 2023

Lenticular printing, or a method to produce printed images that change or move depending on viewing angle, typically uses plastic as the medium. Artist Rufus Butler Seder developed a way to create glass-based lenticular images, and his murals appear in public places around the world.

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Extracting the secrets of ancient masons—Maya plasters owe their strength to plant-induced biomimetic structure

By Lisa McDonald / June 20, 2023

Like Roman concrete, plasters from the ancient Maya civilization are another historical building material that researchers are trying to understand and replicate. In a recent open-access paper, University of Granada researchers used advanced imaging techniques to reveal that the addition of organic molecules to the Maya plasters induced the formation of biomimetic structures, which are likely key to the plaster’s durability.

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