Native American Anasazi bowls, Delft tiles, Indian shrines Japanese Satsuma ware teapots, English bird whistles, German 'hunting scene'jugs, Spanish zeilij, Italian maiolica plates, Nepalese lamps, Romanian colanders, Danish stoneware teapots, French faience soup bowls, Moroccan tagines, Yemeni water pipes, Balinese roof tiles...the diversity of ceramics is astonishing.
This is the first worldwide survey of traditional ceramics, covering the raw materials, the techniques used to make ceramics, the ways they are decorated and their incredibly varied uses.
Four thousand years ago the massive ziggurats of Ur in Mesopotamia were built from mud bricks, as were the homes of Ancient Egyptians, and mud or 'adobe' bricks are still to be seen, constructed in the same tried and tested way, from Egypt to Peru.The making of ceramics is the preserve of settled societies and has enabled the study of past cultures - for instance, the rise and fall of the Paracas and Nazca on the coastal plains of Peru - and the discovery of trade routes in ancient times such as those of the Phoenicians who traded from the Levant to the Atlantic.
The book is organized into eight main sections, with over seventy-five topics:
The Raw Material - from the excavation and preparation of the materials to descriptions of the different materials available.
Forming Techniques - from the tools used to the many forming techniques, from modelling and pinching to throwing and press moulding.
Pre-fired Decoration - from applique and incising to impressing and sgraffito.
Firing - from firing in the open air to the various types of ceramics created.
Glazes - from how glazes are applied to the many diverse kinds.
Alternative Finishes - from paint, oil, polish, varnish and resin to gilding.
Use and Function - from tiles, roofs and bricks to lighting and the storing of food.
The Quality of Life -from fragrance and tobacco pipes to toys and the use of ceramics in ceremonies.
About the Author
Bryan Sentance, a keen traveller worldwide, lectures, mounts exhibitions and teaches art. He has illustrated a number of books on crafts and textiles, as well as educational publications and children's books. He is author of Wood, Basketry and (with John Gillow) World Textiles, all published by Thames & Hudson.
This is an ideal volume for someone who would like an overview of developments and processes from around the world. It covers a wide range - as can be seen from the above paragraph, but by definition can only touch on most areas due to the breadth covered. It will be too superficial for those with a deep interest in ceramics, possibly with the exception of providing a pointer to further research. Those interested in design will find it useful.
Publication Date: 25 October 2004
Detail: Illustrated 848 images, 753 in colour. In total 216 pages, approx size: 29 x 25 cm,
Publisher: Thames & Hudson, 181a High Holborn, London WC1V 7QX.
Tel: +44 (0)20-7845-5000
Fax: +44 (0) 20-7845-5055 Coryright: Thames & Hudson, London.
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