A Books Purpose

A majority of my time in the studio this semester has been spent waiting on the kilns to just do their thing.  Hours upon hours of time just waiting for my work to get to the next stage in the process is spent inside a box of fire, and there's typically only small projects I can work on while I wait for the more important works to complete the cycle.  So what do I do?

I read.

(Contrary to what the movies may tell you, in honor of the new Beauty and the Beast release.)

And by read I mean I read/watch/listen/research to an endless amount of essays, critiques, articles, magazines, Ted-Talks, books, podcasts, lectures, youtube clips, and whatever else I can get my hands on.  It's been amazing this semester having my Art in the Age of Networks class taught by Jason Hoelscher, in which we read roughly four to five selections of work by artists, art critics, and theorists both within and out of the art world.  Some of the articles we read aren't related to art at all, but in applying the readings to works of art the conversation in class become that much richer.

This blog post specifically however I would like to highlight a book that I found on my Atlanta Gallery Hop two weeks ago.  The book is called Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist's Guide to Glaze and Color by Brian Taylor, and Kate Doody.

Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist's Guide to Glaze and Color by Brian Taylor, and Kate Doody.

This book not only features amazing glaze recipes and full color images of contemporary works, it also includes each of the 100 artists featured “creative intentions behind the glazes used” and technical descriptions of featured work.  I found this book in Atlanta after seeing it on a gallery bookshelf, and then on the NSECA website, so I ordered it right away.  Basically the book is for:

Anyone who loves creating ceramics knows that glazing can be a labor of great love or the bane of the entire ceramic process. In the instructional and inspirational Glaze, potters will find a wealth of guidance on the glazing process as several of today’s leading ceramicists share the recipes and techniques behind their most stunning works of art—each selected specifically for its unique glaze. Entries include:

An overview of the artists’ work
A technical description of the featured piece
The artist’s creative intention behind the glazes used
Glaze recipes

Pieces are organized by color, so the potter can easily find work that relates to his or her own color aesthetic, or simply discover other incredible approaches. With more than 450 beautiful color illustrations, a technical how-to section, and a detailed glossary, Glaze is an absolute must have for potters of all levels.
— Glaze

This book in particular has really opened me up to tons of new artists in the ceramic world.  It covers 100 artists, most of which are not the super famous and well known ones, but instead more on my level of attainability in a way.  The best part is that it each artists inspiration and artist statement is listed on their two page spread.  So not only do I get to the their work, have access to their techniques and recipes, but also I can read about their work straight from the source, not diluted by a mediator like a magazine article.

In addition to that new book I also got The New Ceramics Colour in Glazes by Linda Bloomfield.  I have yet to get a chance to dig through this book but trust me when I say that the 150 test tiles I made a few weeks ago are going to finally be put to the test once I get into this book. It's a comprehensive book on color mixing and color testing in glazes and provides full details and tips on making successful colors. This book:

A complete guide to achieving a fantastic spectrum of colourful glazes for the studio potter, Colour in Glazes looks at all the methods of acheiving colour in glazes, focusing on colouring oxides in detail, including the newly available rare earth oxides. Types of base glazes and the fluxes used to make them are discussed in relation to colour response. Emphasis is placed on using colouring oxides to achieve depth and variety of colour, rather than just resorting to commercial ceramic stains. The practical aspects of mixing, applying, testing and adjusting glazes are explained. and a large section of test tiles and glaze recipes is included, for use on white earthenware, stoneware and porcelain fired in electric, gas and salt kilns. A very useful book aimed at making glazes to achieve the colour you want, and to help you broaden your palette.
— Linda Bloomfield

The New Ceramics: Colour in Glazes by Linda Bloomfield

This week also saw the transition of my largest piece to date being firing in the gas kiln.  It has been cooking in gas since Thursday of last week, and later today I will be cracking open the roll-cart kiln to see how it turned out in the bisque.  High hopes for great things to have happened and it have survived the extremely slow firing process intact.  It was also the 30hr review for my fellow grads Cyndy, Glenda, and Kench.  They did ok for have to a answer some tough questions but I was happy to see them move to their next phases of their studio practice/work. Here are a few images of what has been happening in my studio this past week!

I also taught a special workshop at the Averitt Center for the Arts on Face Mugs for my fellow grad Annamarie's community outreach portion of her thesis defense called Common Clay: The History of Folk Pottery in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in her history program.  We had a great turn out. Overall 27 people came and made 21 mugs.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.