Most helpful positive review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An inspiring selection
on 10 June 2013
Linda Bloomfield's excellent book on contemporary tableware is not so much a how-to-make-it as a wonderfully curated exhibition-in-a-book with explanatory notes covering the salient points of how such ware is made and how this effects its appearance and use.
For makers and collectors of tableware, this is a must-have. For makers, it is an invaluable source of ideas for shapes, forms and all aspects of design. For collectors it is a superbly researched, international collection of the latest tableware designs featuring work by many of the most exciting contemporary makers.
The most striking aspect of this book is the relationship between industry and studio pottery. It marks a new departure in this sort of literature on pottery - by which I mean texts intended for makers. Bloomfield is a mine of information on how to adapt designs for use with industrial production as well as showing us, the readers, just how vibrant the industry still is and how many studio potters are making a successful living by collaborating with their local industries, new kinds of industries and new kinds of sales outlets, notably online.
For me, some of the most engaging work is the Czech maker, Jiri Pelcl's `Bohemia' range, a fusion of historic, industrial surface patterning - the Blue Onion design - with contemporary tableware forms, made in Dubi in the Czech republic. This elision of old and new, studio and industrial, is also evident the other way round in the work of Katrin Moye. Moye brings industrial surface patterning to hand made studio ware, which then returns in modified form in her collaborative work with `cottage-industrial' producers: English Country Pottery, (they reproduce her work as slip-cast pieces whereas Moye uses a wheel). Doubtless, the original industrial Scandinavian designs were themselves sourced from rural folk craft. Cottage-industry imitates craft imitates industry imitates craft imitates life. Perhaps.
Bloomfield simply researches, curates and writes up the information. The style is uncluttered and straight forward. You, the reader, are thus at liberty to form your own theories. She does not tell you what or how to think because she doesn't need to: Contemporary Tableware will keep you inspired for years to come.