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A. M. Douglas "A Reader" (Cambridge, UK)
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The Apex Researcher Microscope
The Apex Researcher Microscope
Offered by Apex Microscopes
Price: £360.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the price., 9 Nov 2011
I've used stereo microscopes before but not compound microscopes, so this was a beginners scope for me. Seems to work perfectly well, and is a good buy for the price.

The only thing I'd add is that the condenser on this microscope is fixed, so that if you wanted to do anything like darkfield microscopy, then you won't be able to do it using this microscope.

I bought the snapper photography attachment too, which is a nice addition.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2013 9:04 AM BST


Throwing Large (Ceramics Handbooks)
Throwing Large (Ceramics Handbooks)
by Nic Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.74

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Techniques you won't find elsewhere., 11 Mar 2011
Nic has written a book that outlines techniques for throwing large pots. Although these techniques have been around for a while - most of them anyway - I can't find them described in any other book on throwing that I own, and so that makes this book unique as far as I can tell.

It starts by covering suitable clays for throwing large pots, and a description of tools that you'll need. It then describes in some detail, some techniques that Nic uses to make large pots - the doughnut method, coiling and throwing, and sectional making. Nic also touches on various methods that he himself doesn't use but has seen in practice, such as korean onggi techniques. Each method is described in text and shown in a series of photographic montages and/or diagrams.

An important point is made, that making large pots isn't about strength and huge muscles, but about techinque. In fact, Nic seems to deal in balls of clay no bigger than about 7 lbs, using various cunning ways of combining these into larger quantities and pots. In fact, even for the modest thrower, these methods could be used to make pots that are double the size that you usually make, which in itself is quite something.

The last chapters deal with finishing pots - so, moving large pots, drying large pots, and firing and glazing pots. There is then a chapter featuring various potters, uk and international, who make large pots, ranging from large flower pots to huge jars. Because Nic is a woodfired potter, many of the potters featured are also woodfirers, but not all of them.

All in all, I think this is an excellent little book, superbly illustrated. I have tried many of these methods in the past with various degrees of success, and from one pass through the book, I can already see where I have been going wrong. It's a must for anyone who throws pots, even if you only buy it for the lovely pictures. But I think it will be useful to any thrower, whether you want to make 'large' pots, or just 'larger' pots, since large is a relative term - these methods can apply at whatever scale you work at, I think.


A-Solar Am-105 iPhone Solar Power Charger
A-Solar Am-105 iPhone Solar Power Charger

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for the 3GS, 21 Feb 2010
I'll add my weight to the reviews that state this charger doesn't work with the 3GS - you're wasting your money as it sometimes works, but mostly says "will not work with this iPhone". Wish I'd read the reviews properly before purchasing. If I could give it no stars, I would.

When are we going to get a decent solar charger?


Sennheiser PXC 450 - NoiseGard Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones
Sennheiser PXC 450 - NoiseGard Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones
Price: £259.99

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great, not bad, 20 Feb 2009
The sound quality of these phones isn't great - I had been using my beyer dynamic's before these arrived and the difference is noticable with the bd's far better. The noise cancelling seems ok - I had a pair of cheaper sony nc phones and the differences doesn't seem that huge to me.

But here's the main point. I live in a house on a busy noisey road - lots of lorries - and the nc doesn't stop the noise of the lorries - still loud and noticable with the phones on. I think I made the mistake of thinking nc meant blocking but it doesn't. If you have humming noise from computers or air con then these will be brilliant, but if you have lorries and talk and machinery, then I think blocking headphones (one's that are inner ear and act like ear plugs) would be much better. Trying those next...


Shoji Hamada: A Potter's Way and Work (Ceramic Classics)
Shoji Hamada: A Potter's Way and Work (Ceramic Classics)
by Susan Peterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.29

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More inspiration., 19 July 2007
This book describes the authors visit to Hamada in Japan, and explains the cycle of making that Hamada used, from clay preparation, to making, glazing and firing, and beyond. Just in terms of the process of making pots, it is a great description of what happens. It gives an insight in to Hamadas pots too and where they came from and the man himself.

But in fact, the book provides more than that. You can get see the workings of clay from a more fundamental perspective. I found myself thinking about what I do and how it isn't all that different. Which seems a bit grand, but then Hamada's methods and techniques were often simple, well thought out and in tune with his surroundings and beliefs, and perhaps that's why I found the book so inspirational (I'm having a night of reviewing books that have inspired me!) Once again, this is a book that I keep going back to and re-reading.


Glazes from Natural Sources: A Working Handbook for Potters
Glazes from Natural Sources: A Working Handbook for Potters
by Brian Sutherland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for the curious potter., 19 July 2007
This book is aimed at me. It's for the kind of person who thinks that local is best. Who thinks 'not invented here' is something they don't want said about their work. It's for the potter who wants to find beauty or create beauty from whatever they are given, not from what they can get. Where simplicity, trial and error and the process of finding out something is almost as important as the end result.

There are quite a few potters who use what they can get locally - especially stone types and ash - look at Hamada for instance. I feel I ought to be digging my own clay too. This book offers a wealth of information of where to go and what to try.


The Teapot Book
The Teapot Book
by Steve Woodhead
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A book to go back to., 19 July 2007
This review is from: The Teapot Book (Hardcover)
A book that you own for some years and yet keep going back to has to be worth 5 stars. This book is simply inspirational. As has already been said, the photographs in this book are outstanding and the sheer diversity of teapots shown, along with the text, is a marvel.

However, as a maker of teapots, this book is coming in to its own. For the text explains many of the intricate details of making a teapot. The section at the beginning, showing the late Derek Emms making a fairly standard teapot shape, isn't the end of it, brilliant though it is. For many of the pots are described not only in terms of their function but also their making, with snippets of useful information everywhere. Some of the more intricate or unusual pots are shown as picture stories of how they are made.

I can't recommend this book highly enough.


The Potter's Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery
The Potter's Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery
by Mark Hewitt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £37.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fabulous pictures of pots., 16 July 2007
This books is in two sections, really. A very large selection of pots - late 19th Century many of them - showing the North Carolina tradition, followed by a slightly smaller section on contemporary potters who follow those traditions.

The pictures of the pots are fabulous - often several pictures of each pot - with an accompanying text about the potter or the pot. Many of the pots are utilitarian - functional to the extreme. Or at least, the older pots probably are - one wonders whether in modern times, large stoneware jars or churns are ever used for storage - but the pots are often plain stoneware, wood-fired, often salt glazed and just wonderful. As eye candy goes, this is a great book.


Mushrooms and Toadstools (Collins Field Guide)
Mushrooms and Toadstools (Collins Field Guide)
by Regis Courtecuisse
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the guide to get!, 23 Oct 2006
Two of the reviews below are for a later guide published under the Wildlife Trust banner, which is smaller, has fewer species and is a photographic guide.

THIS BOOKS IS NOT A PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE - it covers many many species, and has a full key. The drawings are very good. If you can find a copy, I think it is worth having, together with, say, the Philips book (which is photographic in nature, but the photographs are good quality as is the text.) However, it is not for the faint hearted - but then neither are funghi - a little practice with the techniques described and using the key will take an interested amateur a long way.


Country Furniture
Country Furniture
by Aldren A Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Pioneer furniture making... practical and historical, 18 Oct 2006
This review is from: Country Furniture (Paperback)
I love this book. It's hugely practical, starting with wood types, milling and storing, tools, the workshop, joints, payment and general things and then various explanations of things like cabinets, chairs, sash windows, all sorts of things. And each page has a wealth of detailed information. No photographs, but loads of line drawings.

But in addition to this, there's lots of history and, well, feeling, about the subject. It's an american book, so is about pioneer furniture and techniques - but it's just brilliant for those looking at the subject from a down-to-earth traditional perspective (no chain-saws here.)


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