The harmony in shape and size as well as the elegance of the painting are the characteristic features of the red-figured Attic vases.These represent the highest achievement in the evolution of Greek pottery and provoke our admiration for their creators and the high cultural standards they reveal. A column-shaped crater from the Athenian Agora has been chosen to show the various stages of pottery making: the preparation of the proper clay, the shaping of the earthenware vessel, the crucial phase of firing, the special emphasis given to the black glazing.
The primary objective of restoing ancient objects lies in their best possible preservation, therefore the relevant work in the case of the forementioned crater included the cleaning of its pieces (removal of older conservation material, washing), their joining together and, for the better balancing of the vase, the reconstruction with modern methods of small missing parts. The use of proper conservation materials is of great importance for the future protection and preservation of the object. The full reconstruction of a vase must be made with the outmost discretion and finest craftsmanship so that the modern interventions will neither attract the attention of the beholder nor will disturb the overall aesthetics of the work of art.