Clay Times Back Issues Vol. 21 Issue 99 - Winter/Spring 2015 - Page 44

Resources I Books & Videos CLAYTIMES·COM CLAYTIMES·COM n WINTER WINTER / SPRING SPRING 2015 2015 Book Reviews (continued from previous page) The meat of the book is presented in eleven sections; Centering, Throwing a Cylinder, Pulling a Handle, Throwing a Bowl, Trimming, Decorating Surfaces, Throwing Off the Hump, A Brief Overview of Firing, Glaze Fundamentals, and Applying Glazes. The final section, titled Handy and Homemade, contains additional useful information on items such as bats, chucks, slip, stamps, and chops. The books rounds out with a selection of recipes and a glossary. Each section topic is taught through specific projects, and there is a gallery of work done by many recognized clay personalities. Teaching throwing through a book is a difficult task. Learning how to throw from a book is even more difficult. Reason does a better than adequate job. Her writing style is friendly and encouraging. Her instructions are clear, well thought out, and accompanied by fullcolor and detailed photos. Her choice of projects is wide-ranging and attractive. Is Ceramic Studio: Wheel Throwing the ultimate treatise and final chapter on the literature about teaching throwing? I don’t suspect so. But if you’re looking for another resource on the subject that, in 128 lovely pages, offers yet another potter’s approach and method of instruction that will be useful, encouraging, fun and inspirational, then Ceramic Studio: Wheel Throwing belongs on the shelf in your own studio. Troubleshooting for Potters by Jacqui Atkin Barrons Educational Series, soft cover, $21.99 I’ll admit that at first examination, Troubleshooting for Potters appeared to offer a similar treatment of faults, problems, and remedies that other books covering the same subject do (such as Ceramic Faults and Their Remedies and Practical Solutions for Potters, to name two). However, when I did my first visual sweep, it confused me. I might even say that it confounded me. In fact, I’ll go all the way and say that it spun my head around and whipped me out the other side. Troubleshooting for Potters is not like any other book that covers the subject of pottery problems. Troubleshooting is organized into five chapters: What’s the Problem, Clays, Forming and Bisqueware, Surface Decoration, and Firing. Chapter 1, “What’s the Problem?” contains what the author refers to as “diagnostic charts” that list, by the titles of the next four chapters, problems, descriptions, causes, and what the author calls “potential fixes”. The remaining four chapters each include sections on “Best Practices”: that is, instruction on how to carry out trouble-free technique, followed by “Fix-its”, which describe problems that a beginner or novice potter is likely to encounter, along with causes and remedies. Rounding out the content is a short section on health and safety, a nicely conceived glossary, and a useful index. Jacqui Atkin gives us a carefully thought out, cleanly designed and organized, well-written book. The 144 pages contain hundreds of full-color photos that add clarity and detail to the written descriptions. The topics included cover virtually every area that a novice potter is likely to navigate and slip (no pun intended; OK, maybe a little) on. However, if you are expecting a dictionary-type format like I was, where you can look up a specific problem or issue, you will be frustrated and disappointed. Troubleshooting for Potters is not that book. This is different, and perhaps for the beginning potter to whom this book is aimed, better. Troubleshooting for Potters is more like a pottery-making manual that, if read cover to cover as if it were a textbook, would offer the most benefit in foundation, information, and coaching, as well as problem identification and solutions. Whether the author intended it or not, Troubleshooting for Potters offers as much creativity and inspiration to the reader as technical information. Troubleshooting for Potters is different enough so as to create its own niche. It is full of practical and exceedingly useful information. This is a book that has already found its way into my high school teaching studio. If you had it in your studio, it would get a lot of use. Give it a try. You won’t be sorry. [ Steven Branfman is an accomplished potter and teacher of pottery and ceramics at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts, and proprietor of The Potters Shop and School. He may be reached by e-mail at: sbranfpots @aol.com 44 Resources I Books & Videos Book Reviews (continued from previous page) The meat of the book is presented in eleven sections; Centering, Throwing a Cylinder, Pulling a Handle, Throwing a Bowl, Trimming, Decorating Surfaces, Throwing Off the Hump, A Brief Overview of Firing, Glaze Fundamentals, and Applying Glazes. The final section, titled Handy and Homemade, contains additional useful information on items such as bats, chucks, slip, stamps, and chops. The books rounds out with a selection of recipes and a glossary. Each section topic is taught through specific projects, and there is a gallery of work done by many recognized clay personalities. Teaching throwing through a book is a difficult task. Learning how to throw from a book is even more difficult. Reason does a better than adequate job. Her writing style is friendly and encouraging. Her instructions are clear, well thought out, and accompanied by fullcolor and detailed photos. Her choice of projects is wide-ranging and attractive. Is Ceramic Studio: Wheel Throwing the ultimate treatise and final chapter on the literature about teaching throwing? I don’t suspect so. But if you’re looking for another resource on the subject that, in 128 lovely pages, offers yet another potter’s approach and method of instruction that will be useful, encouraging, fun and inspirational, then Ceramic Studio: Wheel Throwing belongs on the shelf in your own studio. Troubleshooting for Potters by Jacqui Atkin Barrons Educational Series, soft cover, $21.99 CLAYTIMES CLAYTIMES··COM COM n n WINTER WINTER // SPRING SPRING 2015 2015 I’ll admit that at first examination, Troubleshooting for Potters appeared to offer a similar treatment of faults, problems, and remedies that other books covering the same subject do (such as Ceramic Faults and Their Remedies and Practical Solutions for Potters, to name two). However, when I did my first visual sweep, it confused me. I might even say that it confounded me. In fact, I’ll go all the way and say that it spun my head around and whipped me out the other side. Troubleshooting for Potters is not like any other book that covers the subject of pottery problems. 44 Troubleshooting is organized into five chapters: What’s the Problem, Clays, Forming and Bisqueware, Surface Decoration, and Firing. Chapter 1, “What’s the Problem?” contains what the author refers to as “diagnostic charts” that list, by the titles of the next four chapters, problems, descriptions, causes, and what the author calls “potential fixes”. The remaining four chapters each include sections on “Best Practices”: that is, instruction on how to carry out trouble-free technique, followed by “Fix-its”, which describe problems that a beginner or novice potter is likely to encounter, along with causes and remedies. Rounding out the c ѕЁ́()͡Ё͕ѥѠͅ䰁䁍ٕ)ͅ䰁͕հ))դѭٕ́́ɕձѡ՝Ёа)ͥɝ镐ݕɥѕQ)́хչɕ́ձȁѽ́ѡЁ)ɥ䁅хѼѡɥѕ͍ɥѥ̸Q)ѽ́Ցٕȁ٥Յ䁕ٕ䁅ɕѡЁ٥)ѕȁ́Ѽ٥єͱոѕ)=,剔ѱ!ݕٕȰԁɔѥ)ѥɵЁ$̰݅ݡɔԁ)ɽȁՔԁݥɅѕ)ͅѕQɽՉ͡ѥȁAѕ́́ЁѡЁ)Q́́ɕаɡ́ȁѡѕ)Ѽݡѡ́́ѕȸQɽՉ͡ѥ)ȁAѕ́́ɔѕ䵵Յѡа)ɕٕȁѼٕȁ́Ёݕɔѕщݽձ)ȁѡЁЁչѥɵѥ)́ݕ́ɽѥѥ)ͽѥ̸]ѡȁѡѡȁѕЁȁа)QɽՉ͡ѥȁAѕ́́́Սɕѥ٥䁅)ɅѥѼѡɕȁ́ѕɵѥ)QɽՉ͡ѥȁAѕ́́ɕЁ՝ͼ)Ѽɕє́ݸ%Ё́ձɅѥ)ፕ͕հɵѥQ́́ѡ)́ɕ䁙չ́݅䁥Ѽ䁡͍)ѕՑ%ԁЁȁՑЁݽձ)ЁЁ͔ٔЁ丁eԁݽeЁͽ丁l)Mѕٕ Ʌ́͡ѕȁѕ)ѕ䁅Ʌ́ЁQȁ䁥 Ʌɕ)5͕̰ͅɽɥѽȁQAѕ́M)M!䁉ɕ䁔͉Ʌ)((0