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The Ceramic Surface

A remarkable diversity of techniques are used to treat the ceramic surface. Matthias Ostermann presents an exploration of the ceramic surface—focusing on the vessel and platter—that includes the nonfunctional, the metaphoric, the narrative, and even the sculptural. Through an examination of the works of 200 ceramicists from around the world, he provides a broad overview of contemporary techniques and approaches.Ostermann covers a wide variety of techniques for making, decorating, and firing, as well as the full spectrum of clays and firing temperatures. Each image is accompanied by technical information, as well as a statement of the artist's inspiration and motivation that offers insight into the concept of the piece.The Ceramic Surface provides inspiration to ceramicists, educators, and historians, while also celebrating the ingenuity and diversity of talent found in contemporary ceramics.

Hardcover: 208 pages

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (October 21, 2002)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0812237013

ISBN-13: 978-0812237016

Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.8 x 11.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds

Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #944,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #292 in Books > Arts & Photography > Other Media > Ceramics #502 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Pottery & Ceramics #223343 in Books > Reference

There is no doubt about it: this is a beautiful book. The paper, binding, print, photography is all first-rate. But I was disappointed, nonetheless. The book is basically a collection of pieces by many different ceramic artists, with equally different surface treatments. In essence: a coffee-table book. Not that I mind that so much, but I have to limit myself to the pictures - because I can hardly stand the "Artist's Statements" that accompany each photo (I can't stand being told what to think, and I heartily agree with Jean Cocteau: "An artist cannot speak about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.") If you like that kind of thing, then this might be just the book for you.One thing I did appreciate was the short paragraph on how the piece was made, but these frequently appear to be simply obfuscations and filler text, and I can't help wonder if these artists aren't more than a little insecure.

This beautiful book is a welcome addition to my collection. Its very simple format of one image per page and brief written description of the work, often by the artist, makes it an inspiring and yet relaxing book to flick through with your feet up on the couch. As far as technical information goes, this is more of a starting point - leading you to research further the surface finishes and techniques that most appeal to you.

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