Ceramics: Art and Perception

What Makes a Potter: Functional Pottery in America Today by Janet Koplos

I opened the book after receiving it in the mail, the equivalent of you picking it up in a bookshop and looking through it. My first thought was this is an echo of Gerry William’s extensive interviews with potters for Studio Potter magazine. Here are fifty interviews with potters, following a short introduction and raison d’être by Koplos. As the subtitle says, it’s a book about useful pottery, mostly what used to be known as domestic ware, for use with food and drink; the kind of pottery where the product is described as a plate, or a bowl, or a mug and has no need for fancy titles.

A flick through with a closer look here and there reveals potters talking about their lives in plain language. There are no signs of artspeak. That is an excellent beginning suggesting that the book is readable. It’s a book mainly of words, not pictures although there is a black and white portrait of each potter, and a single page of colour images illustrates their pots;

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