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Showing posts from March 9, 2013

Egyptian Paste An Ancient Form of Pottery

Faience is a French term that refers to tin-glazed earthenware. The term comes from wares produced in the Italian town of Faenza and exported from there. It is the same type of glaze decorating is seen in majolica and delft pottery.
Faience was traditionally red earthenware covered with an opaque white lead-based glaze (a high tin content gave the glaze opacity and whiteness). The base glaze was then decorated with brightly colored glazes painted over it.
Archaeologists working in Egypt in the early 20th century mistakenly called items made with a self-glazing ceramic body (properly know as Egyptian paste) "faience". To many people's confusion, the term "faience" is still used for both tin-glazed ware done in the 15th century Spanish tradition and Egyptian paste ware created in ancient Egypt.
Because of this confusion, it is generally better to avoid using "faience" as a term at all. It is better to refer to tin-glazed ware as majolica…