The Workshop Guide to Ceramics

The Workshop Guide to Ceramics by Duncan Hoosan and Anthony Quinn is clearly meant for the textbook market. I can foresee it adopted in colleges and high schools throughout the country, with assignments handed out chapter by chapter. It’s thoughtfully organized with lots of information. The how-to photos are clear and explicit.  It’s full of useful information that every potter needs, much of it up to date and modern.

You can learn numerous methods of printing on clay. There’s a fun sidebar called “Firings as Theater” (hush my pyromaniac heart). And for those interested, there’s a section on “computer-aided design, modeling and manufacturing” and yes, “Rhino, explained as a widely used NURBS” which is also explained – “non-uniform rational B-spline modeling program.” Whew!

The authors are highly qualified. Hooson “is a practicing ceramicist and a teacher of ceramic art in schools, hospitals, and on community projects throughout London.” Quinn “operates a successful London design consultancy with a varied client base that includes Wedgewood, Leeds Pottery, and British Airways.” Hmm, British Airways. He also teaches ceramic design on the college level and has written prior books.

In the end, though, the The Workshop Guide to Ceramics left me feeling a bit empty, hungry even, because there is almost no mention of ceramic history, and the pieces shown, are, for the most part not very potterly. This of course, says more about me than the book – I am an admitted history nut — so I don’t feel quite right criticizing. Instead, I will suggest to anyone using this book, especially as a text, that it be supplemented with other books and articles or kept on the shelf as one of several reference books. It’s good but can’t stand alone.

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