Clay is a versatile material with remarkable properties and serves a multitude of purposes. The Greeks shaped and fired clay for statues and figurines, for architectural elements such as metopes and akroteria, for drain pipes, beehives, lamps, and so forth. The major output was pottery, produced in great numbers by different methods (wheelmade, handmade, moulded) and in various categories (coarse, plain, decorated). It was a basic commodity that had many functions – for cooking, drinking, libation, storage, transport, and as offerings to the gods and to the dead. Over the centuries, painted pottery played a large and practical, if unsung, part in the lives of Greeks; it has been estimated that the hundreds of thousands of pots and fragments that are now extant comprise less than one per cent of the pottery produced. Current research into Greek ceramics is strong, and conferences, both national and international, over the past generation, mostly centring on Attic pottery, show how essential the study of pottery is for all aspects of the classical world and how it furnishes wide avenues for investigation. The contents of the published proceedings of the conferences show the main trends. Work on the traditional elements such as techniques, shaping, and painting, and iconography – that is, the initial stages of production – still continues, but there is now much more interest in functions, markets, find-spots, customers, reception, and the like, with complex pie charts, histograms, maps, and statistics, – that is, enquiries into the pottery once it had left the workshop (see Figure 4). This chapter deals with the manufacture of the pots, the shapes fashioned, the painting, and the contexts of use, with a little about the business elements; it also looks at the subject of attribution. The final chapter is mainly concerned with the variety of images and scenes that the pots carry. The chapters cannot be exclusive nor all-encompassing; they can highlight only various aspects. The emphasis, as in the conference proceedings mentioned above, falls on Attic pottery of the Archaic and Classical centuries, because it afords the fullest evidence.