Pottery represents one of man's earliest artistic manifestations after cave painting. At the birth of human civilisation as we know it today pottery constituted the first sign of an aesthetic concern in man's everyday life. Primitive vases and pots were decorated with a very simple mineral based paint, in ochre and reddish tones, which was applied directly to the baked clay pots. Later on the pigments were applied to the unfired clay and were baked at the same time as the pot, thereby increasing the resistance and durability. The first designs were geometric patterns, simple concentric circles around the form of the pot. Slowly crosses, flowers and other patterns appeared and later even complex human scenes were introduced. Since Neolithic times, decorative ceramics have formed part of the every culture's heritage, but it was in Ancient Greece where it reached its aesthetic peak. Very little Greek painting has survived and pottery constitutes practically the only document that can be used to investigate the origin of painting as we know it today, because potters frequently copied large [frescos#MATERIALES#6] and panels done by Greek painters on to their vases. Early Greek pottery was decorated with geometric patterns applied all over the pot's surface. These patterns were done in black against the red background of the pot, which was subsequently varnished to protect it. As Greek art progressed, the motifs increased and figures were introduced. Scenes of little anatomically correct human figures were painted on the vases. The most important innovation was the introduction of other pigments, such as white, red and blue. Later, the pot was baked covered in a layer of black paste that served as the background. The decorator scratched the pasted surface to reveal the red clay underneath, producing the effect of red figures against a black background. This was the final stage in Greek ceramics. In other periods, techniques such as glazing were applied to ceramics. ChineseESTILOS

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