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Negative Painting

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A technique of pottery decoration used in many parts of the Americas in which a design area is covered with a paint-resistant substance (wax, gum, clay) and then dipped in paint or dye, dried, and fired. The pot might be either smoked or dipped into a black wash. The dark coating is unable to reach those areas of the surface protected by the resistant substance, and when the resistant substance is removed, the pattern stands out in the original color against the black background.