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Handbuilt Pottery Techniques Revealed

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Handbuilt Pottery Techniques Revealed


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Book Name: Handbuilt Pottery Techniques Revealed

Author: Jacqui Atkin

Publisher: Barron's Educational Series

ISBN: 0-7641-2666-0

Cover: Paperback

# of Pages: 160

Illustrations: Color photos, B& W diagrams

Experience Required: Beginner


Book Review

The author has used language in a clear, concise manner to describe the process of making handbuilt pottery so the reader feels they can be successful at the projects she has included in her book. There are step-by-step instructions and photos for every project as well as helpful Tips for Success accompanying most of the individual techniques (i.e. in the chapter on Pinching, it is suggested you look at pictures of birds for inspiration when modelling a clay bird). The author has included a small section on the health and safety rules because she is concerned with safety as well as the success of the readers when engaging in a pottery project. The other reason this book is so good is because it is very visual and with a topic like making pottery it has to be. There are also photos of the glazed and fired finished products for a few of the projects which gives the reader an idea of what their creation could look like. Occasionally the comments next to the photo of the glazed and fired items included tips for safe use of the item (i.e. whether it is safe to use with food). For certain projects a variety of designs are provided for different styles you can use, for example, when making a bowl set, there are diagrams for 4 different styles to choose from. There is also a cross section of some of the projects when they are being made to help you see what the thickness of the clay creation is supposed to be.

Before beginning to work with clay it is good to read the introduction and essential to read the section on the tools, illustrated in color photos with accompanying descriptions, you will need for the projects in this book. Another important section to read is on the types of clay including the different colors, where to get it and what it looks like when it is raw and after it has been fired. The final essential section on handbuilding techniques is the description on the two types of kneading, ox-head (easier) and spiral (useful for large pieces of clay) accompanied by a photo and description of each.

The four chapters cover the main techniques of working with clay; Coiling, Pinching, Molding and Slabbing. All of the chapters are basically structured the same, with the same features included in each. There is an introduction at the beginning of each of the chapters, specific to the techniques in that chapter. The intro to the chapter on coiling, one of the most versatile methods to build a pot, covers the plus and minuses of using of coiling as well as commenting on the ease of using this technique. In this chapter there are step-by-step instructions for using rounded and flattened coils, making coiled bowls, baskets and surface decorations as well as garden sculptures.

Favorites:

  • Coiling - coiled bowl
  • Pinching – bowl set
  • Slabbing – porcelain boxes
  • Molding – simple agate bowl
  • Molding – double walled bowl

Overall Rating:

5/5

Available At:

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca

 

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