How were Cycladic figurines carved? What type of tools did ancient jewelers use to make gold ornaments? How did ancient painters decorate the surface of vases?

Although we often admire the brilliant objects exhibited in archaeological museums, only rarely do we learn how they were made. The new exhibition of the Museum of Cycladic Art, titled “INSIDE ANCIENT WORKSHOPS…together we recreate” aims to provide answers to this question.

Combining original artifacts with live demonstrations of their manufacturing processes, the new exhibition, which addresses both adults and children, tries to shed light on the world of ancient artisans – those inspired individuals, who, although usually not known by name, were responsible for the creation of so many exquisite works of art. For twenty days, experienced artists and artisans, in collaboration with archaeologists, will present to the public the working techniques employed by ancient sculptors, potters, vase-painters and metalsmiths. Using traditional tools (chisels, anvils, the potter’s wheel etc.), the artists will turn the museum into a lively workshop where objects identical to those exhibited in the museum will be produced anew. Visitors will have the chance to watch the artists in action and talk to them about their work.

The exhibition is divided in three sections/workshops: Metal-working, Pottery making, Marble-working. The workshops take their names from mythical artisans or patron-gods/goddesses of crafts. The Metal-working section includes ancient artifacts made of gold, silver and bronze, explanatory drawings, and information about ancient metalsmiths, metal workshops, and various manufacturing techniques. In addition, it features “The workshop of Hephaestus”, a ‘live workshop’ with the installations and tools of metalsmiths (anvils, hammers, chisels, models, etc.)

The Pottery-making section includes ancient vases and figurines, as well as “The workshop of Athens”, a ‘live workshop’ equipped with a traditional potter’s wheel, raw materials, unfinished vases, the toolkit of vase-painters, etc. The Marble-working section includes Cycladic figurines and Classical sculptures, together with “The workshops of Daedalus”, a ‘live workshop’ with the various tools of sculptors, models and marble works in progress.

The exhibition can be visited during the museum’s opening hours. More info can be found here.