Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (October 19, 1995)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #807,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #127 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Polymer Clay #411 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Pottery & Ceramics #12184 in Books > Arts & Photography > History & Criticism
This is a great book for anyone who wants to work with clay. It is clearly written with prospective and actual studio potters in mind.The book originally came out in 1992, and is now in its fourth edition. And, after mentioning some safety issues, it has plenty of instructional material on how to shape clay, and what tools to use. There are sections on hand building: pinching, coil building, and slab building. Then there's plenty about the technique of "throwing" clay on a potter's wheel, with nice sequences of photos. This takes plenty of skill and practice! As the author says, the wheel is very sensuous, rhythmic, and hypnotic. Peterson is always warning us to treat clay properly: if you attack it in one way and then hit it from another direction in the same place, you may find cracks there in firing, induced by the strains you imposed on it. It's simply wrong to overwork clay.Still, many potters and artists like to produce many objects with the same overall shape. And that means making and using molds made from plaster, and making casting slips, so Peterson shows us quite a bit about these. After this comes a discussion of decoration. This involves artistry and visualization.There is a good discussion of types of clays, and explanations of what earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain are. We're shown different types of clay bodies, including terra sigillata and raku (a process which requires a clay body that has some dirt mixed in with it to make it porous enough to avoid thermal shock). And there is a wonderful chapter on glazes. Following that, there is plenty about kilns and firing, including using cones, inconel tubes, and pyrometers to measure temperature.
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