56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2011
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. Nevertheless there are plenty of names I know among the three hundred, and lots of names I'm looking forward to learning about.
The remaining fifteen pages consist of pictures showing potters at work, a glossary of terms and styles, and a comprehensive index, but I could live without those - all I really need is the encyclopaedia of amazing pots and their stories.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2011
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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2012
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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2014
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.