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    Manufacturing techniques


Without the abundance of good quality clay that exists throughout Greece, figurines could not have been produced in such large quantities.

In early times, down to about 700 B.C., most figurines were modelled by hand, although occasionally the core of the figurine was made on the potter's wheel and the details were added later by hand.

The technique of using moulds to make figurines was introduced in the 7th century B.C. and became the norm about 500 B.C. In this technique, a preliminary model (patrix) was made of wax or fired clay and then used to make clay moulds. Both solid and hollow figurines could be produced, depending on the quantity of clay that the craftsman pressed into the mould. Hollow figurines might consist of two or more pieces. When the clay dried, the pieces were removed from the moulds and joined together by means of wet clay to form the whole figure.

The bottom or back of figurines is usually open or, in the case of solid figurines, displays a ventilation hole in the base in order to allow the hot air to escape during firing and avoid cracks in the surface.

Before firing, the entire surface , or occasionally only the front part, of the figurine was covered in a white wash, which formed the base for the application of the added colors. At times colours were applied directly to clay, without the use of an underlying stratum of wash.