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The Pot Book [Hardcover]

Claudia Clare , Edmund de Waal , Blanche Craig
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: £29.95
Price: £20.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Oct 2011
The history of ceramic art is ingrained in the history of mankind. Clay is one of the very first materials ‘invented’ by man. An essential part of our lives it has been moulded, thrown, glazed, decorated and fired for over 30,000 years in order to preserve and transport food and water. And it was on the surface of these early jugs, vases, dishes, plates, beakers and amphorae that man placed some of his first decorative markings. In more recent times clay has been used not just by artisans and potters, but also by artists, designers and architects. The Pot Book is the first publication to document the extraordinary range and variety of ceramic vessels of all periods, from a delicate bowl made by an unnamed artisan in China in the third millennium bc, or a jug made in eighteenth-century Dresden, to a plate made by Picasso in 1952, a ‘spade form’ made by Hans Coper or the vases of Grayson Perry today. Each entry is sequenced in alphabetical order by the name of the artist/potter, the school, or style, creating a grand tour through the very finest examples of the artform.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Pot Book + The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance
Price For Both: £27.36

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (24 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714847992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714847993
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 3.8 x 29.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edmund de Waal describes himself as a 'potter who writes'. His porcelain has been displayed in many museum collections around the world and he has recently made a huge installation for the dome of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Edmund was apprenticed as a potter, studied in Japan, and read English Literature at Cambridge University. 'The Hare with Amber Eyes', a journey through the history of a family in objects, is his most personal book.

Product Description


‘sumptuous … a gorgeous tribute to the history of ceramics. If you think you don’t care about pots, this book will change your mind.’
The Times Saturday

‘a wonderful new book […] by the presiding genius of modern studio ceramics, Edmund de Waal … informative'
Royal Academy magazine

‘handsomely illustrated … This book is like an installation where the arrangement of illustrations makes the reader look with surprised attentiveness'
V&A Magazine

‘This is a distinctly personal, even quirky selection -- which is part of its appeal.’
Bloomberg News

About the Author

Edmund de Waal apprenticed as a potter in Canterbury, before studying in Japan and Cambridge. Today his porcelain is in thirty international museum collections: most recently he has created major installations for the V&A and Tate Britain. He is working on exhibitions for museums in the UK and America and on commissions for private clients. Edmund has also written widely on art and ceramics. In June 2010 his The Hare with Amber Eyes was published by Chatto and Windus, winning the Costa Biography Award and New Writer of the Year at the Galaxy Book Awards. Edmund has also written widely on art and ceramics and his titles include 20th Century Ceramics, Timeless Beauty: Traditional Japanese Art from the Jeffrey Montgomery Collection, Bernard Leach and New Ceramic Design.

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Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Albarello to Zsolnay 16 Nov 2011
By Maggie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The product description doesn't really do justice to The Pot Book. This is a huge, heavy book, and beautifully printed. If you plan to use it as a coffee table book, be sure to choose a sturdy coffee table.

Each of the first 300 or so pages consists of one large colour photograph (roughly 18 x 20 centimetres), usually of a single pot. Below each picture is a brief description of the pot and the potter, with cross-references to others who have influenced or been influenced by him/her. There is a fuller account of the pot and/or the potter alongside.

The contents are arranged alphabetically, and include a taste of every potting age from the ancient to the modern. Many of the pages concentrate on one potter, while others deal with periods, styles or materials - so there is a page for Majolica (cross-referenced to Albarello, Delftware and Luca della Robbia) and perhaps more surprisingly, a page for Cornish Kitchen Ware (cross-referenced to Carter Stabler Adams, Leeds and Midwinter). Following the cross-references can take you on a potting journey - for example, from Cornish Kitchen Ware to Leeds, and from Leeds to Christopher Dresser and the Elers Brothers, while the Elers Brothers page points you to Kirsten Coelho and John Dwight.

Of course there are "only" just over 300 pages, so you might find that Edmund de Waal hasn't picked your favourite person/period/style. For instance, I'm pleased that Luca della Robbia has an entry, but mildly disappointed that the (English) Della Robbia Pottery is missing. And if I were being very pernickety, I'd say that the balance between ancient and modern is a tad too much in favour of the modern for my taste.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for Professional & Amateur Potters 1 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My husband has been a professional potter since 1970 and has always admired the work of other craftsmen. I have purchased this book as a Christmas present for him and having browsed through it I know it is going to give him hours of pleasure looking at beautiful work by many well-known potters. He is still making pots at the age of 76 and it is a true saying that old potters never retire!! Edmund De Waal has produced this beautiful volume for everyone who is interested in ceramics and I think it will be greatly treasured by those who buy it.
Ann Bean, Helston, Cornwall
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wide world of pots by a master potter 8 Jan 2012
By Chris
From a major contemporary potter, and one most recently revealed as a best selling family memoirist, now comes an enormous, beautiful anthology of the huge variety of objects from all ages that are 'pots', from simple functional vessels to wild flights of fancy. A lovely book, combining lightly-worn scholarship with excellent photographic images
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully put together 13 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're a ceramicist looking for inspiration, or just a lover of beautiful objects, this is a wonderful book to own. The full-colour images are of very high quality and each is accompanied by a few hundred words of text giving the background of the piece. The text covers historical context, techniques and details of the maker.

This is a pretty hefty book - definitely one for the book-shelf rather than the bus!

I brought this to give myself inspiration for my own ceramics and keep finding myself going back to it. A useful source book, as well as a delightful object to own and share.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and informative book 11 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful illustrations of a wide range of pottery from ancient to modern. Only slight criticism is that potters' marks are not included. Where applicable this would have made a valued resource for anyone interested in collecting studio pottery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 July 2014
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant "coffee-table" book 22 Jan 2012
Just wonderful for dipping in to any time though it could be hard not to keep turning the pages from beginning to end!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pot Book 6 Dec 2011
A beautiful and interesting book for anyone who likes pots. Connects to The Hare with the Amber Eyes (same author)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great book
Published 2 months ago by Helen RobInon
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference
Love this book. After seeing and reading so much about Edmund de Waal I was interested in his choice of beautiful ceramics......and not disappointed!
Published 6 months ago by Jan Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive pot book
except - no Edmund de Waal pots. He, however, has collected a wonderful selection of other potters' work across the ages and continents. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. B. M. Greene
4.0 out of 5 stars One for the dedicated potaholic
I have to admit that this didn't turn out to br quite book I was expecting, but I am glad to have acquired it, both for future reference and perusal, and to enlarge my knowledge of... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mrs. F. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value!
This is a high quality book that was a great Christmas present. It was very well packed and arrived promplty.
Published 21 months ago by Judith
5.0 out of 5 stars great
arrived very fast.looks like a lovely book .
as it is a gift i haven't opened it to look inside, but the hard cover and packaging are great
Published on 26 Jun 2012 by janedoe
4.0 out of 5 stars the pot book
It is a beautiful book, the photography is excellent and the information given about each item is fascinating
and illuminating. Read more
Published on 18 April 2012 by sherwood
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent for pottery lovers
this is a great book for pottery appreciation, with some great ideas and illustrations. one of the best pottery books out there.
Published on 15 Jan 2012 by B. Donohoe
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