The old axiom indicates that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Functional Pottery: Form and Aesthetic in Pots of Purpose is the exception to that rule. Just by looking at the cover of this book, I knew that it was a “winner.” The pitcher is a perfect example of the title. When I look at a book for the first time, I always go to the Table Of Contents which I feel is a map of the book and defines it. Functional Pottery could be read front to back OR used as a reference source. Robin Hopper is not only a Master potter, but also a master author of ceramic books. He takes the reader through forms from nature, architecture and historical work and into geometry, proportion, and anatomy. There are many chapters that contain details of different forms (eating from, drinking from, storage, pouring from, cooking in and serving from, and rituals). The “eye candy” comes at the end of the book which includes photos and short bios of 17 different artists. This book which contains hints, descriptions, and wonderful photos would be a delight for either a thrower or a hand builder.