Lifestyle Book Reviews

Book Review: Surface Design for Ceramics

By Sandy Amazeen Sep 4, 2008, 21:38 GMT

Book Review: Surface Design for Ceramics

For ceramists of any level, surface design is an essential skill for creating beautiful work. And this comprehensive and invaluable studio reference captures all the popular techniques available for embellishing clay. A wealth of practical information and detailed images lead you through every phase of the process—from the wet and leather-hard stages (faceting, carving, burnishing) through bisque ware (terra sigillata and slip work), to firing (glazing methods) and post-firing (decals, ...more

Whether you work in slab, coil, thrown or extruded clay, the wealth of surface treatments is limited only by one’s imagination as shown in this comprehensive guide to surface embellishment techniques. After an examination of what makes an effective design the book is comprised of two main chapters covering nearly every aspect of detailing wet, leather-hard, green and bisque ware. Added inclusions, stretching, cutting, several different slip applications, impressing, incising and burnishing are but a few of the techniques shown for use on clay. Bisque ware techniques include assorted ways of applying glazes and the use of wax resists.

Lots of extra tips, pointers and historical notes are liberally sprinkled throughout the text, as are detailed pictures of completed works showing off the many techniques. Two smaller chapters touch upon firing and post-firing possibilities. Experienced ceramists likely have entire books on the raku, salt or wood firing, enameling, sandblasting and overlaying techniques that are touched upon here. The gallery features enough full color, close-up eye candy to inspire one to want to bury their hands in a mound of clay and start in. Mill’s has presented so many unusual surface applications that this is sure to become a “must have” reference guide no matter what your current level of expertise may be.

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