Guy Wolff Master Potter in the Garden
Photographs by Joseph Szalay
Forewards by Val Cushing and Tovah Martin
An intimate journey into Wolff’s world of craftsmanship and the joy of creating and using finely made objects.
If you mention Guy Wolff to a serious gardener, that gardener will almost certainly admit to either owning a Guy Wolff flowerpot or coveting one. Wolff’s pots—some small and perfect for a sunny windowsill, others massive and just right for a favorite outdoor spot—are widely considered to be the epitome of gardenware. Their classical proportions, simple decoration, and the marks of Wolff’s hands all combine to make plants look their best. His pots possess an honesty and liveliness that machine-made flowerpots lack.
Wolff is probably the best-known potter working in the United States today. In gardening circles, he is a highly revered horticultural icon; gardeners flock to his lectures and demonstrations. His work also appeals to lovers of design and fine arts: visit the personal gardens of landscape designers, and you will see Guy Wolff pots. Step inside the gates of estate gardens, and you will see Guy Wolff pots. Yet he is a potter’s potter. He’s a big ware thrower, a skill few have today. He thinks deeply about what he calls the architecture of pots and the importance of handmade objects in our lives.
Published by the Univeristy Press of New England
What they are saying...
“Staubach, a potter and gardener herself, has produced an illustrated biography that joins the details of Wolff’s career with a lively discussion of the frequently competing demands of craft and business.”—Boston Globe
“Staubach has done a masterful job of weaving biography, history, aesthetics, technique, and philosophy into an eloquently crafted story. She moves seamlessly from ancient Egypt, China, Japan, and England through Jugtown, to end up in modern-day New England, all the while including encounters with Arthur Miller, Louisa Calder, Martha Stewart, and Steve Jobs. Staubach gives us access, not just to the how but also to the why of Guy Wolff’s incredible journey. A fantastic read!” —John Britt, John Britt Pottery and author of The Complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes
“Guy Wolff is a great potter. He is also a great scholar. His work is exceptional, beautifully made, true to form, unique. I cannot more highly commend him. He is an American national treasure.” —Joe Eck is the author or coauthor of several books, including To Eat: A Country Life, Elements of Garden Design, and Living Seasonally: The Kitchen and the Table at North Hill
“Like countless others, I met Guy Wolff’s garden pots through Smith & Hawken. I became a very modest collector. The pots, filled with flowers and foliage, and placed in and around my gardens, became focal points of hardy beauty. Now, thanks to Suzy Staubach’s outstanding book, I know more about the man himself. A nice fantasy would be to find him standing in my garden next to one of his pots, and we would talk.” —Tomie dePaola, artist and author of books for children
"This is an extraordinary biography about an extraordinary artist. The author, a potter herself, has gone to great detail in researching the history of pottery." Adele Kleine, Chicago Botanic Garden