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Ceramics Books: My Wish List

I live in a rural area, so most of the instruction I get in any subject is from books. Since you are here to learn more about ceramics I'll share my list of favorite ceramics and pottery books with you.


The Complete Potter's CompanionThe Complete Potter's Companion by Tony Birks, Peter Kinnear (Photographer), Paul Bryant

Revised and updated, this classic potter's volume explains everything from preparation through firing, with stops along the way for detailed coverage of working on the wheel; coiled, slab, and
pinch pots; mold making; slip casting; and glazing and decorating. The comprehensive text ranges from basic (wedging and kneading, beginning wheelwork) to advanced (spray glazing, raku firing). The no-frills design of the book packs almost too much information on a page, but the instructions are clear and thorough, the photos (more than 450, all in color) are straightforward and helpful, and the stunning examples of work by contemporary potters provide additional inspiration.

Handbuilt CeramicsHandbuilt Ceramics : Pinching, Coiling, Extruding, Molding, Slip Casting, Slab Work
by Kathy Triplett

Written for the general reader with an interest in ceramics, HANDBUILT CERAMICS is a big, colorful, and complete how-to manual for shaping clay without a potter's wheel, as well as a color gallery of hand-built work by some of today's best ceramicists. 400 color photos.


Ash GlazesAsh Glazes
by Robert Tichane

A noted potter and chemist takes the guesswork out of ash glazes by sharing the results of his experimentation. This guide to ash glazes provides practical and usable information that will benefit both the novice and experienced potter. 300+ photos, 16 in color.


The Art of Polymer ClayThe Art of Polymer Clay : Designs and Techniques for Making Jewelry, Pottery and Decorative Artwork (Watson-Guptill Crafts)
by Donna Kato

Available in a tremendous array of colors and easily cured by baking in a home oven, polymer clay is a unique medium for creating a variety of beautiful items. In The Art of Polymer Clay, noted artist Donna Kato explains the basics as well as many unusual techniques, including semi-precious stones, woven fabric, carved wood, metal, and realistic flowers. Kato's sense of style and color is superb, and her directions are clear and concise.


The Ceramic Design BookThe Ceramic Design Book : A Gallery of Contemporary Work
by Val M. Cushing (Introduction), Chris Rich (Editor)

The first in an anticipated series, this book is a full-color collection of the finest jury-selected contemporary ceramic art chosen from thousands of entries. All areas of ceramic art are represented, including form and function, vision and technique, surface decoration and firing methods. World-renowned ceramicist Val Cushing introduces the book by reviewing current trends in ceramic art.


Ceramic Form: Design and DecorationCeramic Form : Design & Decoration
by Peter Lane

In this new, revised edition of Ceramic Form (1988), the author explains the working methods of more than 150 contemporary potters and considers their approaches to design and decoration of bowls and bottles through the use of color, patterns, and texture. A unique directory of forms in profile make this at once a history and guide for collectors, an inspirational library of forms for potters, and an invaluable illustrated source for collectors.


Ceramic Technology for potters and SculptorsCeramic Technology for Potters and Sculptors
by Yvonne Hutchinson Cuff

This instructional manual covering the technology of making and firing ceramics is divided into three parts which cover the science, workshop techniques, and materials for producing and finishing ceramics. Both experienced and amateur potters receive clear and precise introductions plus almost fifty exercises offering detailed explanations of processes and results.


Makin MosaicsMaking Mosaics : Designs, Techniques & Projects
by Leslie Dierks

Tangible bits and pieces of our lives can be captured more or less permanently by the art of mosaics. Of greatest use to beginners here is the description and step-by-step illustrations of four different assembly processes, from pique assiette (French for "stolen plate") to the application of tesserae ("small units") to a sculptural shape. The dozen projects will introduce first-time mosaicists to the art without much frustration; designed by professionals, each includes elaborate instructions, pattern (if appropriate), color photographs, and artists' tips (such as "less is better" when applying adhesive). Barbara Jacobs Copyright© 1997, American Library Association. All rights reserved


Handmade TilesHandmade Tiles : Designing, Making, Decorating
by Frank Giorgini

Lots of great photos! The process is covered thoroughly and leaves no guesswork. "Handmade Tiles" gives the beginner a great start.



Potter's CictionaryThe Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Techniques
by Frank Hamer, Janet Hamer (Contributor)

Revised, expanded, and updated (2nd edition, 1986), alphabetical reference for all craft potters presents the potter with information on the sources and character of materials, the behavior of clays and glaze minerals during forming and firing processes, forming methods and glaze construction, together with explanations of terminology and historical developments. Thoroughly illustrated with b&w drawings, diagrams, and photographs.


by Jill Herbers, Roy Wright (Photographer)

A lilting prose and photographs to die for from Roy Wright are not the only two reasons to leisurely leaf through this homage to a "clay surfacing material that has been fired." Tile is hot in home decorating these days, and whether it's used conventionally (i.e., on the floors and walls of different rooms) or liberally (as small works of art or individually, as a collectible), tile is laid out here in all its glory--decorative elements, types, and functions, from adorning kitchens and fireplaces to pools and fountains. Sidebars provide enough fascinating reading material to consume a rainy afternoon; the one-page stories include such highlights as retiling Dubrovnik, the secret life of glazes, and tips on negotiating a tile showroom. Mosaics never looked this good. Barbara Jacobs Copyright© 1996, American Library Association. All rights reserved


The Potter's PaletteThe Potter's Palette
by Christine Constant, Steve Ogden (Contributor)

The serious potter will find a multitude of great glaze recipes in this practical reference, which presents color samples of more than 700 individual glazes for both earthenware and stoneware clays. Christine Constant and Steve Ogden briefly cover the basics--mixing, applying, firing, health and safety concerns--then concentrate, for the bulk of the guide, on the results that can be achieved by adding various oxides (copper oxide, cobalt oxide, red iron oxide, etc.), glaze stains, and opacifiers to a group of base glazes to produce a tremendous range of color and surface qualities. Each result is clearly shown in a photograph of the sample color chip.


The Best of Pottery
by Jonathan Fairbanks, Angela Fina, Johnathan Fairbanks

This beautiful collection honors the world's best potters. Selected from thousands of entries, more than 250 pieces are showcased in this full-color volume. Featuring teapots, platters, bowls, vessels, and more, this comprehensive guide includes a wide range of pottery styles and techniques. Potters from fourteen different countries, including England, Korea, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Australia, and the USA, show their great talent and creativity. The variety of subject matter and beautiful illustrations found in these pages will provide inspiration for both the professional and amateur artist. An essential addition to the library of any potter, aspiring artist, or collector.


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