Functional Pottery has been used by potters around the world and in a great many colleges and universities as required reading. It is a book of personal development in the design, making, and aesthetics of ceramics objects for use, based on more than 40 years of practical experience. This book includes images of work by potters from around the world working with functional pottery. It also includes a wide range of illustrations of objects drawn from many of the world's major museums. Not only is this book the most informative written on the subject of functional pottery and its design and aesthetic, but the illustrations of both historical and contemporary objects put the equivalent of a museum and art gallery at your fingertips. Full of information and practical tips, it is an invaluable reference that should be in every potter's studio.
Here is some of what you'll find in Functional Pottery
In his book The Lesser Life, William Morris, the great 19th century designer-craftsman says:
"I should say that the making of ugly pottery was one of the most remarkable inventions of civilization. "
He was talking about the visual monstrosities of the Victorian period of industrial pottery production. This period of questionable aesthetics heavily influenced North American art pottery of the early 20th century. A hundred years after the Victorians, we still have a remarkable abundance of visual pollution all around us.
Historically, pots were seldom made with specific considerations or analysis of how they might best perform their duties. However, since the early 20th century edict of Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus movement that form follows function, potters and the public have become much more aware of how things work most efficiently through the study of ergonomics.
Making pottery is a timeless occupation, and the best of pots through the ages have a quality of timelessness about them that transcends chronological and cultural boundaries. Their appeal is universal. The essence of form, the movement of a brush, the quality of surface, the hidden meanings, and the integration with mankind's daily existence over several thousand years, all add to the significance of the art.
Functional Pottery is about pots of purpose their forms, meanings, and functions. If you're looking to incorporate new vigor and understanding into the process of making pots for use, Functional Pottery will stimulate. While history, design and how-to are all covered, Functional Pottery goes beyond these to also focus on the development, design and making of utilitarian pottery and the thought processes behind it.
Within the four parts of Functional Pottery, you'll find discussions of
— Historical, cultural and ethnic variations
— Form, growth, and design
— Practical and analytical approaches for both the student and working potter
— Sixteen contemporary clayworkers
No matter what type of functional work you're making or planning to make, Functional Pottery, provides insight, information and inspiration you'll refer to over and over again.