Being a sculptural ceramicist I am always looking for glazes that are dry, and this is the first book in this series that contains a step by step approach to these glazes. It also illustrates how you can go about developing your own dry glazes. Very comprehensive and will be useful to me for many years to come.
Though the book is aimed primarily at those interested in so-called "dry" or matte glazes, it contains a wealth of information on glaze components and how they interact with each other to form a hard colored coating on clay. The first half of the book discusses more general topics such as what makes glazes matte versus glassy; how glazes are applied; the safety considerations involved in the mixing, applying and firing of glazes; and the differences between a glaze, an engobe and a slip. The rest of the book is separated into chapters based on the base element used in the glazes they discuss (for example, sodium, potassium, boron, calcium, barium, and many more). These latter chapters are more technical in nature and much of the information is beyond my ken at present. Nevertheless, they do provide a good overview of the different possible glaze elements; their effects on glazes; and their interactions with different metallic coloring oxides.
So, if matte glazes are of interest to you, then this book is a required purchase. If, like me, you just want to increase your knowledge of glazes in general, then this book is also quite valuable. If nothing else, the book is filled with photographs of luscious ceramic works by a variety of artists, and includes the recipes they used to produce the amazing finishes on those works as well as pages of photographs of test tiles fired using those recipes.
Jeremy Jernegan has written the definitive book on dry glazes. The recipes that I have tried have all worked for me (although admittedly some were different from how they looked in the book)and the matteness of the glazes allows colours and textures to take centre stage, something that shiny glazes can mask or distract from. If you make sculptural or studio ceramics, these glazes may be just the thing you are looking for to embellish without overwhelming. Most of them look unsuitable for domestic ware owing to the ingredients and the finished textures but they remain some of the most eye catching glazes for the studio potter. I have found them to work better with stoneware than porcelain and if you stain the clay with oxides, they have a very satisfying way of bleeding through the glazes, adding to the final effect of the piece.
One of the things that annoys me the most about many books on glazes, is that they usually concentrate on high firing, with very little for those who chose for one reason or another not to high fire. It's almost as though unless you fire to mid or high stoneware temperatures, you can't be a 'serious' ceramic artist.
The good news for me personally, is that this book includes plenty of recipes for both ends of the temperature spectrum. I was particularly looking for dry crawl glazes, and have referred to this book again and again for advice. There are detailed descriptions of each glaze, with illustrations, and most importantly they actually work! I also appreciated the selection of work from artists which show combinations of glazes from the book, sometimes with surprising results. I don't know of any other book exclusively devoted to dry glazes - and even if they exist it would be hard to beat this very useful and interesting handbook. It is everything other reviewers have said and more.
The author must have undertaken a vast amount of experimentation and research in order to compile the book, and I certainly felt as though I was getting my money's worth (which is definitely not always the case). There is absolutely no padding or pages wasted with large illustrations of materials or equipment - again we have all seen this before and it is infuriating. The book is very much to the point and concentrates on what it is supposed to do.
A very worthwhile buy whatever your level of experience, and a must for those interested in the alchemy and effects of dry glazes.
This is a useful ceramics handbook for all those wishing to understand and use dry glazes. Often used in sculpture, dry glazes add texture. It looks at all types of dry glaze and is amply illustrated with examples of work. Includes formulas to achieve effects. This is a comprehensive book, part of A&C Black's acclaimed Handbook Series.