It’s almost impossible for me to see a small book and not pick it up. So pick up Ceramic Sculptures. I did. It’s one of those Lark Studio books that are such a pleasure to behold. Nice production. Just a bit larger than one’s hand. A little pocket art gallery.
The truth is, I would rather look at pots or books about pots or photos of kilns and workshops than photos of sculptures. I like sculpture but it seems a bit like poetry to me; good (or what I react to as good) is very moving, but to me, it feels like there is an abundance of mediocre or bad work around. My response to sculpture (and for that matter poetry) is completely personal and irrational, making me a terribly unreliable critic or judge.
Ceramic Sculptures is a good overview of ceramic sculpture today, with many of the big names represented. It was fun to sip a cup of Earl Grey and go through the book page by page. There are some huge omissions. For instance, there is nothing by Joy Brown. How can that be? Perhaps, like many Lark books, this was one where artists had to submit and she didn’t.
Each piece has two facing pages. A color photo of the work is on the right hand page. On the left is the name of the piece, the artist’s name, the size, materials, cone, and processes used. In the back is a listing of the artists with the town and country where they reside, but no website or email. Also, none of the pieces is dated.
One of the nicest features of the book though, is that you can literally flip through it. Because there are photos on all the right hand pages, you can flip the pages from back to front, and have a nice “slide show.” Very cool.