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Crusty

What Is The Best Book In Your Pottery Library?

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There are a lot of good books out there and some better than others. So we thought we would ask the fine folks here to share their favorite book and ask why it is...

 

Thanks for sharing, Jim & Cindy...

 

 

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"the practical potter" by Josie Warshaw

The book is available for a reasonable price, It is current, and it gives you a very good introduction to multiple methods that can be used in pottery.

 

"The Essential Guide To Mold Making & Slip Casting" by Andrew Martin

A very good book on mold making, and he gives you an introduction to his speedy, unique, prototyping technique that works quite well.

 

I go to these books first to find answers and usually find what I am looking for.

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So popular it's almost cliche, but "Functional Pottery" by Robin Hopper. I've read it through at least 3 times. I like its historical grounding, and thorough exploration of form versus function. My goal is to make pots that are useful, and Robin's thoughts on how pots should be made useful are helpful and inspiring.

 

For practical "around the studio" reference, "Clay: A Studio Handbook" by Vince Pitelka. A good, broad survey of studio work, from how to throw to how to set up a studio.

 

Special mention to Hamer & Hamer, "The Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Techniques". Not the most sexy of pottery books, but a solid reference I'm glad I bought.

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The Potters Book by Bernard Leach excellent in depth look at the whole process

A Potters Workbook by Clary Illian excellent designing

Functional Pottery by Robin Hopper excellent design discussion

 

For glazes both of these are good for understanding the chemistry of glazes.

Mastering Cone 6 Glazes Ron Roy and John Hesselbeth

Cone 6 Glazes by Michael Bailey

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If you are interested specifically in throwing a wide range of forms, I highly recommend "Thrown pottery techniques revealed" by Mary Chappelhow, Krause Publications, 2001. This book is out of print and has not been reissued, but you can search/find them listed as used copies. IMO it is worth whatever you pay for it.

 

The thing that makes this book so different is that every form, and form size, is demonstrated with variations of hand positions shown in pictures. The pictures also include cut away pots, with helpful little arrows indicating which direction or pressure your hands/fingers should take. Years ago I went through the book forwards and backwards and forward again, producing every form every which way whether I aesthetically liked it or not. As a foundation resource you can't go wrong.

 

I believe there is also a hand building version of that title, but I don't have it. Have fun.

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I am a bit of a book hog and own most the books mentioned in this thread. One I find that I go back to for inspiration and ideas is the Complete Potter's Companion by Tony Birks. I just saw it on amazon used books for $0.01, too.

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Best book, out of my library? That I suppose would be the day of the week, or the week of the month or so forth. I seem to go through a book for a long time thinking about all I have read and seen to the point I can't put it away for a long time. Then it is another book, and another, always for days or week at a time. So I really don't have a favorite, but today I am reading through the Advanced Ceramic Manual Technical Data for the Studio Potter, John W. Conrad. Last week it was The Potter's Manual, Kenneth Clark. I still have enough pottery books it will take me a long time to get through them all like this, and by the time I do it will be time to start all over again, because I will have forgotten what I read this week. :wacko:

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Hey,

I like "German Stoneware: 1200 - 1900 by David Gaimster.  Its a history book as well as filled with examples of

pottery at its height in the 16th and 17th centuries.  How they did that with what they had at the time is

pretty amazing.

 

I also like "Pre-Industrial Utensils:  ...   Its chronological by chapter from 1100 a.d. with examples of pottery, glass, metal ware, and

knives.  The images are small but can be enlarged at the printers.

 

See you later.

Alabama

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