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Article

Trevor Proudfoot

Material most commonly used as a cheaper alternative to stone. Occasionally, its special properties make it a preferred but more expensive choice to stone. In its simplest form, artificial stone is an ashlar covering for buildings (e.g. 18th-century terraced houses by John Nash). It is found in its most sophisticated form as the component of numerous 19th-century terracotta or cement-based sculptures....

Article

Rupert Featherstone

Tool with a hard, smooth, tip, mounted in a wooden handle, used for smoothing or polishing. In water gilding, a burnisher of polished agate is used to smooth the underlying gesso and bole after the gold is applied, giving a highly reflective surface. Burnishers used to burnish ancient pots are depicted in Egyptian wall paintings from the 14th century ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Copper-green stone. In ceramics, the term denotes a glaze used to create pottery with the copper-green colour of malachite. Powdered malachite was long used in wall painting, but is only rarely used in easel painting. Deposits of malachite were discovered in Siberia in 1635, and thereafter malachite vessels were produced in the Kremlin workshops. Objects made of malachite were fashionable in the first half of the 19th century, reaching their technical height from ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Decorative work in a fine material (e.g. glass, porcelain, semi-precious stones, silver or gold) that is attractive because of its antiquity, beauty and quality of workmanship. ‘Vertu’ (It. virtù) refers to a taste for curios or other works of art. The traditional form objets de vertu...

Article

Term applied to ceramics, fresco decoration and painting to describe the use of a sharpened tool to score or scrape designs through an opaque coating, to reveal either the base fabric or a secondary colour beneath. Sgraffito has been mainly used in ceramics, where the cut channels were sometimes inlaid with slip or glaze of different colours for contrast. The effect of ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Decorative motif found in 18th-century English ceramics, consisting of applied reliefs of flowers, foliage, and stems. Soft clay was pressed into small, intaglio plaster-of-Paris moulds, and the clay was removed from the mould before being adhered with slip to the body.

See also Ceramics, §I, 4, (i)...

Article

Tile  

Bernadette Nelson, M. Leticia Sánchez Hernández, Bruce Tattersall, Hans van Lemmen and Cleota Reed

Thin slab of fired clay used for covering roofs, floors, walls, stoves and chimney-pieces; they can be either square, rectangular, hexagonal, cruciform or star-shaped, so that they can be fitted together to form a mosaic or tile-panel. The most commonly used material for decorative tiles is glazed ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Earthenware that has been finished with a lead glaze to which tin oxide has been added, making the glaze opaque white and thus an ideal ground for painting (see also delftware; Faience; Maiolica ).

Article

Trail  

Gordon Campbell

Carved, moulded, or embroidered decoration in the form of a wreath or spray of leaves or tendrils, used for the decoration of ceramics, metal and wood.

Article

Gordon Campbell

Ornament consisting of random grooves that resemble worm tracks. In architecture the term is used of stonework; in metalwork and enamel it denotes a type of background ornament. When used on porcelain at Sèvres it was known as vermiculé.

See also under Masonry, §II.