59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
From Albarello to Zsolnay,
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This review is from: The Pot Book (Hardcover)
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.