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Pots were fired several times (in the same kiln) in order to achieve the required finish and colouring.First, the pot was fired in an oxidising fire where good ventilation to the kiln ensured that the orange/red of the clay came to the fore.
Another technique, used more rarely, was to cover the vessel with a white clay paint.
Alternatively, only lines or figures were added in black using a thicker version of the black paint mentioned above and applied with a stiff brush or feather; in consequence, a slight relief effect was achieved.
Minor details were often added with a thinned black paint giving a yellow-brown colour, a white pipe-clay, and a dark red of ochre and manganese.
The majority of pottery workers would have been paid no more than any other manual labourer and a good vase probably cost only a day’s wages.
Certainly though, a few artists would have been in great demand and their goods were sold not only locally but far and wide throughout the Mediterranean.