5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Ceramics: Tools and Techniques for the Contemporary Maker (Hardcover)
Despite the five star reviews, I found this book to be something of a disappointment.
It is well produced, the photographs (of which there could have been more) are excellent, it is a large chunk of book for a very good price on Amazon. The work it shows is of the cool, clean and very contemporary kind, and everything in totally up to the minute. There are sections on all the basics such as preparing clay, coiling, pinching, throwing etc, as well as more advanced techniques. There are several (rather short) bios of contemporay ceramists with examples of their work, and it would have been less annoying if these could have been a bit longer, or if there had been more of them. It is a book that would grace any coffee table - if that is what you want. (But this is not what the title implies).
And yet...ultimately I personally found it disappointing. Although the book is elegantly hefty, somehow there doesn't seem to be very much in it, and at the end I didn't feel satisfied. Maybe the autor tried to include so many aspects of ceramics that nothing was really covered in enough depth to be really helpful.
Although the photographs are excellent, for me the whole book gives the feeling of being rather too minimalist, too 'cool'. Probably intentionally so, given it's very contemporary nature - which I have no argument with - it does make a change from seeing the work of the same chosen few all over again, and there is certainly nothing of the twee or overly traditional in the book. The images are new, with none that I have seen in other books - which does sometimes happen.
It makes a fine looking book for the coffee table or book shelf, and there is actually quite a lot of reading in it - but is it one that I would return to over and over again for inspiration or guidance? I own other books which untimately are of more use to me technically, and still others which show the work of contemporay ceramists in more detail. It is difficult to do both at once without falling a bit short in one way or another.
There is a useful page on Ceramic Materials Conversion, showing US terms and their equivalents in the UK, which I wished could have been longer, but at least I now know some of the equivalents to their seemingly endless range of frits. For this I am grateful.
I feel mean only giving it three stars, as it is a beautifully produced book...just not very useful, and sadly does not live up to the hype.