I've had the pleasure of working with the super-smart and hilarious Caroline Cheung for a few years now as a part of UC-Berkeley's Pompeii Artifact Life History Project, and over the past year or so we've been working on a small offshoot project addressing the production and repair of dolia, which are large storage vessels. We presented a poster of our findings at the Archaeological Institute of America/ Society for Classical Studies Joint Annual Meeting in Toronto. This is a huge conference for classicists, art historians, and archaeologists. I'm happy to report that our poster took top prize, which was a very pleasant surprise!
I'll be set up at 1241 Carpenter Street in Philly on Saturday, December 10th, from 11-6, at my favorite sale all year, the Handmade Brigade! I'm biased because I have a studio in this building and there is a pretty rad group of people in there, so come and check it out!
I'm very excited to announce that collaborator (and good friend!) Caroline Cheung and I will have a poster displayed at Pompeii's Fecisti cretaria conference next month. From June 17th through 18th, at Pompeii's Auditorium degli Scavi, we will be part of a group of scholars studying pottery production in Pompeii. In particular, our poster examines production and repair methods of dolia, which are large and heavy storage vessels; these vessels would have been so unwieldy and expensive that owners went to great lengths to repair them, using a variety of methods. Caroline's work on this topic has been the subject of increasing well-deserved attention; she's a 2016-2017 Rome Prize fellow at the American Academy, which means in addition to having access to an insane library and archive, she can also look forward to starting each morning with a legit espresso and, hopefully, a delicious pastry.
There have been a few notable scholars who have been studying Pompeiian ceramic production over the past few years, but there's a new enthusiasm for this particular topic in the air right now. There are a few reasons for this; some major discoveries on the production evidence front have been uncovered in recent years, including a kiln and other affiliated features excavated in 2012 by the University of Cincinnati's Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (or PARP:PS) and the discovery of ten unfired pots at an ancient pottery located just outside of Pompeii's Herculaneum Gate by a team working out of the French School of Rome in 2014. Because raw materials can provide a different set of data than fired vessels can, these discoveries stand to contribute to researchers' understanding of clay provenience, or where ancient potters were actually sourcing their materials. As this entire region was covered by volcanic ash fall in the 79 CE eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the clay deposits that were likely used by these potters have been covered up, creating a...fun...problem for the archaeologists who study how and where Pompeiian pottery was made and distributed. Additionally, archaeometric methodologies that scientists can use to better understand the clays, additives, and firing methods that went into making these objects are becoming more readily accessible all the time. Pompeii is a suburb of the amazing city of Naples, which is home to the Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, the home of the hooked-up DiSTAR department - and several ongoing projects collaborate with the staff there for carrying out archaeometric analysis via XRF, thin-sectioning, SEM, and more.
Exciting times for pottery production research in Pompeii! I've been lucky enough to be ringside for some of this action, too, as I've been a long-term staff member of PARP:PS. I'll be returning to the field in about a month, and I already cannot wait to feel that Italian sun on my skin.
I'll be back at the URBN Market in Philly's Naval Yard from 9-4 PM on Thursday, April 28th. I will be bringing some awesome new dishes that I've been making, lots of colors to demonstrate my thrill with winter being totally over! If you're in the Philadelphia area, come and say hi.
This Saturday, December 12th, I will be selling work at the annual South Philly Handmade Brigade holiday sale at 1241 Carpenter Street from 11-6. This is one of my favorite shows all year, with an amazingly talented group of artists showing across all media. I'll be set up in 'the moon room', which is actually the insanely gorgeous space of Rock Paper Scissors Photo Studio. There will be snacks, drinks, merriment, handmade stuff...come and say hi if you're in the Philly area! Great spot to pick up some last-minute gifts.