Greek terracotta figurines
Terracotta figurines are a mode of artistic and religious expression frequently found in
Modelling is the most common and simplest technique. It is also used for the realization of bronzes: the prototypes are made out of raw
The mold is obtained by application of a bed of clay or plaster on the prototype. Simple molds, used by the Greeks of the continent until the 4th century BC, are simply dried. Bivalvular molds, borrowed by the insular Greeks from the Egyptians, require cutting to obtain an obverse and a reverse, with which "keys" are sometimes associated protuberances allowing the two parts to fit better. When the piece becomes complicated, with important projections (arm, legs, head, clothing), the craftsman can cut out the mold in smaller parts. The piece is then dried.
The second phase consists of applying a layer of raw clay inside the mold, which can be incised beforehand in order to obtain effects of relief. The thinness of the layer varies according to the type of object to be realized. The faces of the mold are joined together, the object is then unmolded, and the craftsman can proceed to the final improvements, typically smoothing the junction. The craftsman also creates a small opening, a vent hole that allows steam to escape during the firing. The vent can also be used for assembly, allowing intervention inside the piece. The limbs are then joined to the body either by pasting them with
The piece is then fired in the