Dimitrios Z. Stathopoulos
The ceramic maker of Ancient Greek Ceramics, despite the fact that today they are considered as works of art, were made primarily to serve the practical everyday needs of the people of their time. From these, men were serving and drinking wine at their symposia, women were carrying their perfume oils or keeping their jewelers. Ceramics were also placed in graves as funeral decorations, or on sacred ground containing offerings to express a desire for a wish or an appreciation to the Gods.
The most representative and well known of these ceramics are those of the Melanomorph and Erythromorph Attic pottery designs, created in Athens mainly between the sixth and fourth centuries B.C. The above, providing a perfect combination of aesthetic completion and practical usage, are one of the first examples in the history of that civilization, known in modern terminology, as design.
Ancient ceramics were made by excellent, gifted technicians, working under great difficulties inside miserable workshops, who never convinced their contemporaries that they were great artists.
Modern archaeological research gave these people the recognition as creators of great art, for excellence in shapes worked on the wheel, for covering their surface with wonderful scenes and for the expertise for the firing process in the kiln.
Dimitris Stathopoulos, gifted with deep sensitivity and artistic originality , proved to us that he is able to compete with the ancient ceramists. Ceramic maker and painter, he is the one of the few who knows the art of working clay, and thus he reveals a source of wealth and knowledge for those of us who study ancient ceramics , since watching his hands shaping and decorating or listening to his answers to our questions , it is as if we have in front of us one of the great ceramicists of the ancient times.
After many years of research and successful experiments , his achievement has been to infuse life into ancient ceramics and to bring them out of thw untouchable museum cases , and to literally give them back into our hands as living examples of aesthetic and practical value.
Today, after our encouragement, he has accepted to bring his work to the public. In this way he gives the opportunity to us all to enjoy , from close-to, a first class artistic creation from the past , and also gives us the chance , to whomever wishes, to purchase “ancient ceramics”, either “for use” either for decorating places of work and houses, since these objects, of timeless aesthetic value, may easily stand and function in whatever environment.
Assistant Professor of Archaeology
University of Athens