Art & Archaeology

From mechanical behaviors to coloring mechanisms, modeling illuminates properties of ancient ceramics

By Jonathon Foreman / September 22, 2020

Modeling offers a way to learn about ancient ceramics without damaging the priceless items. Two recent articles in International Journal of Ceramic Engineering & Science illustrate how modeling provides insights into myriad properties, including mechanical behaviors and coloring mechanisms.

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Video: The hidden history of Vietnamese ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / August 12, 2020

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the village of Chu Dau in Hải Dương Province, Vietnam, produced unique ceramic pieces that were shipped throughout the world before war put an end to the practice. This history was only recently uncovered in the 1980s, and a recent documentary details the story.

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Video: Vitrification of human tissue

By Lisa McDonald / July 22, 2020

Vitrification is the process through which a material turns into a glass or glasslike substance by undergoing rapid cooling. Though the discovery this year that a man’s brain vitrified during the Mount Vesuvius eruption surprised some people, vitrification of human tissue is actually a well-established practice in fertility treatment.

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Investigating historical artifacts with radiography, plus more inside June/July 2020 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / June 4, 2020

The June/July 2020 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring examination of cultural heritage objects with radiography—is now available online. Plus—annual student section and C&GM

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Video: Finding beauty in the cracks

By Lisa McDonald / April 15, 2020

The ability of laminated glass to hold together upon shattering is invaluable in safety and security applications—and art as well. Artist Simon Berger controls cracking in laminated glass to create portraits using the cracks.

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Get inked with ceramics—or maybe not

By Lisa McDonald / September 6, 2019

Titanium dioxide is the second most common pigment used in tattoo inks. Yet researchers of two studies warn nano-TiO2 could travel to your lymph nodes—and bring metal particles from the needle along with it.

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Learn about “Science for Potters” this Mother’s Day—an essential reading for ceramic artists!

By Lisa McDonald / May 14, 2019

“Science for Potters” covers those aspects of science that are useful to potters and that help to give a deeper understanding of ceramic materials and processes. Save 30 percent when you order your copy by Thursday, May 16.

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Video: A library of rare colors

By Lisa McDonald / April 3, 2019

The Forbes Pigment Collection at Harvard Art Museums has more than 2,500 pigment samples. Learn how scientists and artists use these pigments in painting restoration and authentication, as well as the unusual materials some pigments are made from.

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Video: 3D printing creates ceramic sculptures…but is it art?

By Lisa McDonald / February 6, 2019

Students at The University of Texas at El Paso created 3D-printed ceramic sculptures for an art exhibition. The project raised questions among students about if 3D-printed objects are real art.

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New study of Easter Island inhabitants suggests collaboration, not competition

By Faye Oney / August 21, 2018

A new study shows that early settlers of Easter Island collaborated with each other to build the giant moai statues that are scattered around the island. This disputes earlier theories that the inhabitants competed with each other, leading to their decline.

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