Thursday, September 16

The Most Useful Ceramics Books - Pottery Book Reviews

Most of us potters are addicted to ceramics books.

My all time favorite ceramics book is "Practical Solutions for Potters" by Gill Bliss. I got this in 2004 and I can safely say that if it weren't for this book, I wouldn't be a potter now. It is a wealth of information on everything from centering on the wheel to refining clay from your backyard, and I remember experimenting in high school with all the different surface treatment techniques in it. Advanced potters won't find it all that helpful, but for a starter book, it's probably my favorite. If you're thinking of taking a pottery class, get this book to go with it. It's like a booster seat.

For a more advanced ceramicist, one that seems to be on every wish list is Mastering Cone 6 Glazes by John Hesselberth and Ron Roy. I spent some hard time with this book in college- during my 3rd year especially. (Hey, remember back when before I knew that red iron oxide worked as a flux at cone 6? And I made that glaze that ran all over everything? Good times.) This book is intense, and a wealth of information. It is a reference book more than a recipe book, and covers a lot on material safety, leaching, and glaze fit. I checked this out from the library during school, but I don't own it now due to its price... though when I expand my glaze lab, I have a feeling this book may end up paying for itself.

Finally, for inspiration, at CIA we always had the 500... series around, from Lark Books. 500 Plates and Chargers , Cups, Vases... Pitchers, Sculptures... they make it all.

At worst, they're pretty picture books, and I think they tend to edge towards unconventional. I liked to paw through them when I got potter's block. Now I have Google images for that, but still... these books are like a nicely curated art show, and have plenty of big names in them.

I'm sure there are plenty more Ceramic books I could review, but I'll probably do that later... these are the first ones that come to mind.

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