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AngelaM

Ceramics In Fiction

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I am interested in recommendations for Novels that tell stories of people working with ceramics. It can be historical or contemporary. I know about the book, A Single Shard, and I am currently reading The Children's Book, but any others seem to be hard to find. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks.

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There's a good historical fiction account of the European race to find the secret formula to make porcelain, written by Janet Gleeson. The title is "The Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story" and it is a quick, action packed read full of mystery, kidnappings and intrigue. I found it interesting, not only because of the human drama, but also as the field of alchemy, predecessor to chemistry, was also discussed/ described, and it was interesting to read about early scientists struggling with the difference between what they thought or hoped was possible, and what the empirical evidence was telling them (regarding the creation of gold).

http://www.amazon.com/Arcanum-Extraordinary-True-Story/dp/0446674842/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_2

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"Cold" is mystery that takes place in the upper peninsula of Michigan

 

I can't remember the name, but one mystery about Seagrove. I thought it was something like Born in Clay but that isn't right.

 

The Cave by Jose Saramago and Margaret Costa is about a potter in Portugal.

 

Utz is about a Czech collector of Porcelain

 

Cup of Light is mystery about Chinese fake exports. Main character is an insurance appraiser. Takes place in Jindezhen (spelling?).

 

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On a related note ... I was recently reading a bad murder mystery where the author

just randomly threw in pottery as the hobby of the serial killer ....

I mean really!!

A serial killer working part time in clay?

 

 

 

Heh. I'm working on a short story about a serial killer who is a potter. I chose potter because the killer disposes of the bodies by incinerating them in kilns, then grinding the ash and keeping it in ceramic funerary urns. Hopefully the potter in the bad murder mystery you read doesn't have the same habits :P I hope even more that my story isn't as bad as the one you read!

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On a related note ... I was recently reading a bad murder mystery where the author

just randomly threw in pottery as the hobby of the serial killer ....

I mean really!!

A serial killer working part time in clay?

 

 

 

Heh. I'm working on a short story about a serial killer who is a potter. I chose potter because the killer disposes of the bodies by incinerating them in kilns, then grinding the ash and keeping it in ceramic funerary urns. Hopefully the potter in the bad murder mystery you read doesn't have the same habits :P I hope even more that my story isn't as bad as the one you read!

 

 

That actually sounds interesting and very believable. We were just discussing how to dispose of bodies at the dinner table last night. My daughter brought it up because of a college anthropology class. (we really aren't that weird :-) I never even thought of my kiln Hmmmmm ?

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On a related note ... I was recently reading a bad murder mystery where the author

just randomly threw in pottery as the hobby of the serial killer ....

I mean really!!

A serial killer working part time in clay?

 

 

 

Heh. I'm working on a short story about a serial killer who is a potter. I chose potter because the killer disposes of the bodies by incinerating them in kilns, then grinding the ash and keeping it in ceramic funerary urns. Hopefully the potter in the bad murder mystery you read doesn't have the same habits tongue.gif I hope even more that my story isn't as bad as the one you read!

 

 

That actually sounds interesting and very believable. We were just discussing how to dispose of bodies at the dinner table last night. My daughter brought it up because of a college anthropology class. (we really aren't that weird :-) I never even thought of my kiln Hmmmmm ?

 

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There was a movie several years ago with Kevin Costner and William Hurt, title something about ....Mr. Brooks...I think. It was a very good but very dark movie with a twisted ending, I'de like to see it again.

The main caracter was a Mr. Good Guy with a evil alter ego, played by William Hurt, who sat in the back seat and egged him on. He had a big gas kiln in the basement of his brownstone, and when he finished burning the 'evidence, he would come up to bed and tell his wife, "Those Chineese reds are really giving me a hard time, sorry I am working so late." HaHa.

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There was a movie several years ago with Kevin Costner and William Hurt, title something about ....Mr. Brooks...I think. It was a very good but very dark movie with a twisted ending, I'de like to see it again.

The main caracter was a Mr. Good Guy with a evil alter ego, played by William Hurt, who sat in the back seat and egged him on. He had a big gas kiln in the basement of his brownstone, and when he finished burning the 'evidence, he would come up to bed and tell his wife, "Those Chineese reds are really giving me a hard time, sorry I am working so late." HaHa.

 

 

I saw that movie, It was really, really interesting in a weird sort of what on earth did we rent sort of way, and then the ending blew me away. A little graphic for me but I would recommend it. That's right too I forgot he burned the evidence.

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Yes! Then ending made me want to stand up in the theater and shout at everyone, Wait, a minute, ohmy.gif he she...they............!!!!!!and then watch it again from the new perspective.

 

I have never seen it on pay per view or the movie channel, I'd love to see it again.

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I checked on Netflix and there is a movie called Mr. Brooks with William Hurt and

It is available ... put it on my list as you all have made me curious!

 

 

Be prepared it's a little bit gory. They show all the killing parts which I'm a bit squeamish about, but the twists are awesome.

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What an interesting topic ... I've just ordered The Arcanum on the strength of these recommendations! I've also just finished The Alchemy of Paint by Spike Bucklow - nothing to do with clay really, but a fascinating history of pigments. Thank you again - I just love this forum!

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Guest Herb Norris

Idaho, these are links to the books on Amazon, where you can either but the actual book (long live REAL books!) or a Kindle edition.

 

I saw a screenshot of a Twitter post the other day that said "My book ran out of batteries. Stupid future!"

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On a related note ... I was recently reading a bad murder mystery where the author

just randomly threw in pottery as the hobby of the serial killer ....

I mean really!!

A serial killer working part time in clay?

 

 

 

Heh. I'm working on a short story about a serial killer who is a potter. I chose potter because the killer disposes of the bodies by incinerating them in kilns, then grinding the ash and keeping it in ceramic funerary urns. Hopefully the potter in the bad murder mystery you read doesn't have the same habits :P I hope even more that my story isn't as bad as the one you read!

 

 

That is awesome! Please share your story when you're done, or let us know where we can find it if you're publishing it or something.

 

I jokingly tell loved ones that I want to be cremated when I die and I'll have a batch of glaze all ready, leaving only the bone ash for them to add (my own, of course) and they can glaze and fire my last pots with it. Why keep the ash in the pots when it can BE the pot? Maybe you can work that into your story, but I would require 40%. wink.gif

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I am interested in recommendations for Novels that tell stories of people working with ceramics. It can be historical or contemporary. I know about the book, A Single Shard, and I am currently reading The Children's Book, but any others seem to be hard to find. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks.

 

 

 

There is a French movie called “Les DestineÌes Sentimentalesâ€. It came out in 2002. It is based on the three volume novel by Jacques Chardonne (1884-1968).

 

I found it in the New York Public Library a few years ago.

 

The DVD is in French with English subtitles.

 

The library summary is as follows-

 

It is “a sweeping epic spanning three decades and a world war. The film follows the life and loves of Jean Barnery, a provincial gentleman and reluctant heir to his family's porcelain empire.’

 

 

 

 

 

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This isn't exactly what you're looking for but it's kinda close. Carolina Clay-The life and Legend of the Slave Potter Dave. The writer is actually a descendent of the owner of a pottery factory in S. Carolina and a slave named Dave that works there. It traces Daves life with lots of speculation so it's part historical and part "what if". It's well written and really takes you back to the time period.

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This isn't exactly what you're looking for but it's kinda close. Carolina Clay-The life and Legend of the Slave Potter Dave. The writer is actually a descendent of the owner of a pottery factory in S. Carolina and a slave named Dave that works there. It traces Daves life with lots of speculation so it's part historical and part "what if". It's well written and really takes you back to the time period.

 

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A good read, very well researched, and how he came to write the book is also a good story. Leonard Todd is the author. He actually took pottery classes so that he would have a better idea of what Dave's experiences were.

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On a related note ... I was recently reading a bad murder mystery where the author

just randomly threw in pottery as the hobby of the serial killer ....

I mean really!!

A serial killer working part time in clay?

 

 

 

Heh. I'm working on a short story about a serial killer who is a potter. I chose potter because the killer disposes of the bodies by incinerating them in kilns, then grinding the ash and keeping it in ceramic funerary urns. Hopefully the potter in the bad murder mystery you read doesn't have the same habits :P I hope even more that my story isn't as bad as the one you read!

 

 

I was told a story(unconfimed) several years ago at a conference about a Potter/sculptor who's wife disappeared after a trip with him never found. Years later an old lady stumbled a knocked over one of his sculptures in an apartment building. Yep, partial body parts skull etc, were found inside not completely consumed by the firing. Some teeth and other factors identified the body. Supposedly he is in jail for murder-again unconfirmed.

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