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A vase (//, //, or //) is an open container, often used to hold cut flowers. It can be made from a number of materials, such as ceramics , glass, non-rusting metals, such as aluminum, brass, bronze or stainless steel. Even wood has been used to make vases, either by using tree species that naturally resist rot, such as teak, or by applying a protective coating to conventional wood. Vases are often decorated.
Vases are defined as having a certain anatomy. Lowest is the foot, a distinguishable base to the piece. The design of the base may be bulbous, flat, carinate, or another shape. Next, is the body, which forms the main portion of the piece. Resting atop the body is the shoulder, where the body curves inward. Then the neck, where the vase is given more height. Lastly, the lip, where the vase flares back out at the top. All these attributes can be seen in the picture at right. Some vases are also given handles. Today, the shapes of vases have evolved from the conventional or traditional ones to modern designs and shapes.
The vase has also developed as an art medium unto itself. The pottery of ancient Greece famously used vases to depict scenes, such as mythological events. Various styles developed around the world in different time periods, such as Chinese ceramics and Native American pottery. In 2003, Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize for vase art.
Historical vase shapes:
Modern vase shapes:
- Cylinder-shaped vase
- Gourd-shaped vase
- Mushroom-shaped vase
- Rotund vase
- Turnip-shaped vase
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