Pottery You Can Use : An Essential Guide to Making Plates, Pots, Cups and Jugs - Jacqui Atkin

Pottery You Can Use

An Essential Guide to Making Plates, Pots, Cups and Jugs

By: Jacqui Atkin

Paperback | 29 August 2017

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We all use ceramics on a daily basis without thinking much about it, except when it comes to a favourite mug or cup, for instance. Why is it a favourite? Is it that it holds just the right amount of tea or coffee? Is it that it sits comfortably in the hand with an ample handle that allows you to hold it safely? Is it the clay the cup is made from - a fine porcelain or robust stoneware? Is it the rustic shape or refined, delicate, traditional or contemporary design? Maybe you just like the pattern on the outside!

Whatever the reason, someone will have been thinking about the ergonomics of the cup when they designed and made it and all the other ceramic items that you use, to ensure they work perfectly and give you pleasure to handle and serve your food and drink in.

This book is a visual feast of ideas and advice to guide the maker through the process of designing and making successful functional ceramics that are practical and appealing in equal measure. It adopts a low-tech approach that is understandable and accessible for all and begins with the basic questions you will need to address before you begin.

Each element of the process will be carefully considered, from deciding the function of the item to working out proportions and making basic drawings, to choosing the right clay, tools, and making method, and finally glazing and firing, including safety issues and the essential topic of suitability for food.

Each chapter begins by presenting a varied range of basic shapes, be they thrown or hand built. The next section demonstrates a wide selection of handles, rims, feet, lids, knobs, spouts, lips, and other details that can be mixed and matched to form unique designs with personality and functionality.

Working the whole process out in advance can reap tremendous rewards, ensuring the maker gets it right first time but also allowing the process to be repeated with minimum effort. From idea to finished item, this book will be the essential guide to all the techniques required to make functional ceramics that really work and give lasting pleasure to use.

Industry Reviews

This practical and very elegant book concentrates on the actual making of everyday ceramics. Basic making methods of throwing, coiling and slabbing are explored, but does not look at surface decoration or slip casting and jigger/jolly have been omitted as they require a different level of technical skill. It is a project book aimed at the maker with a small studio or someone attending a studio.

What the book does look at is the making. Chapters include health and safety, capturing ideas, the right clay, firing and basic glazes. Cups and mugs feature in chapter two followed by jugs and boats, plates and platters, bowls, dishes, casserole, teapots, and making methods.

Each chapter has step-by-step photos of the process, together with different handle and spout making for each project. Throughout, the book is lavishly illustrated with photographs and copious amounts of notes and hints on how to best approach a project. For the beginner it is a must.

* Emerging Potters *

I am not a potter, but I do love pottery and would like to be able to make my own. This book provides a thorough insight into the process and includes a wide variety of projects from mugs, to jugs to teapots! Not all require a wheel - coiling and slabbing are covered too. I feel inspired to have a go!

-- Myra Armson

Beautiful book filled with lots of wonderful ideas and projects to make. I love how it gives you an overview of what's needed to make everything it gives you a really good idea of where to start.

* Ella Eske *

This book has got me very excited & enthusiastic about taking up Pottery.

* Alan Snowbal *

An interesting read, lots of illustrations, photos and guidance on different types of clay and styles of pottery to be made. As a non potter i feel i would be inclined to read a beginners guide to pottery and ceramics, by the same author first if i were going to delve into the pottery world to gain more basic knowledge.

* Becca Blackwell *

Ramp up your pottery skills with this specialized manual, as British ceramics professional and author Atkin offers design techniques to reduce errors in finished pieces. With projects including simple mugs and stylish teapots, tips and options are highlighted throughout, focusing on the construction rather than finishes. This polished book is a lovely addition to the field of pottery. The projects are attractive and well explained. It's not a beginner's manual, however-throwing technique is briefly covered, and explanations on the use of tools, materials, firing, and glazes are cursory. VERDICT Highly recommended for intermediate students still working through the fine details of potterymaking.

* Library Journal USA *

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