Ceramics

Ceramics

Philip Rawson
FOREWORD BY WAYNE HIGBY
Copyright Date: 1984
Pages: 240
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt3fhsg5
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  • Book Info
    Ceramics
    Book Description:

    "It is rare to find a book on art that presents complex aesthetic principles in clear readable form. Ceramics, by Philip Rawson, is such a book. I discovered it ten years ago, and today my well-worn copy has scarcely a page on which some statement is not underlined and starred."-Wayne Higby, from the Foreword

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-0734-7
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xiii-xv)
    Wayne Higby

    It is rare to find a book on art that presents complex aesthetic principles in clear readable form. Ceramics, by Philip Rawson, is such a book. I discovered it ten years ago, and today my well-worn copy has scarcely a page on which some statement is not underlined and starred.

    After reading Rawson’s book for the first time, I began to recommend it. As a teacher, I felt that I had finally found a text that I could recommend to students of ceramics without qualification. My enthusiasm was soon tempered, however, by the fact that the book went out of...

  5. PART I General Considerations
    (pp. 1-22)

    There are many handbooks for the amateur potter. This book aims instead to supply a basis for aesthetic judgement and appreciation both of work the potter makes himself, and of work from the great ceramic traditions of the past. It deals with what can be read from pots, not with what can be read in books, and it may be a useful companion on visits to the ceramic galleries of museums. A few vaguely emotive adjectives—‘adventurous’, ‘strong’, ‘well-developed’—or phrases such as ‘shapes of impeccable merit’ are all that the many learned academic writers on pottery have been able...

  6. PART II Techniques
    (pp. 23-63)

    Clay is found in beds and strata in the ground, produced naturally by decomposition from the granite and gneiss rocks which constitute about 85% of the earth’s surface. All potters, and most relatively primitive people using pottery, are very much aware of the nature of clay, as coming from the body of the earth, the mother of all; for they may use it with virtually no further preparation. In ages earlier than our own, which were more keenly aware of symbolic correspondences, their feeling for this origin of clay in the earth, symbol for the most concrete objective reality, which...

  7. PART III Symbolism of Form
    (pp. 64-205)

    This third part of the book will deal in order with those various formal aspects of a pot which one may question for their symbolic value, and to which one has to allow one’s active imagination access (see pp. 15 ff.). Under each heading outstanding examples from particular pottery traditions may be mentioned; though, of course, the discussions can be in no sense exhaustive. We must never allow ourselves to forget that pottery, like all art indeed, was meant to occupy a place in an actual world of life and activity. When we see it inert in a showcase it...

  8. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 205-206)

    This whole book constitutes an effort to demonstrate the kind of artistic developments of which ceramics, the art based upon pottery, has been capable. It has stopped short where ceramics becomes sculpture and has not really dealt with true sculptures made in terracotta, whose modes of invention pass far beyond the purview of the potter. With regard to the problems of both the studio and the commercial potter today it is meant to open up perspectives of possibility, and to suggest ways in which both can rediscover roots and redress balances. It may, perhaps, suggest how ceramics can re-establish its...

  9. Select Index and Glossary
    (pp. 207-212)
  10. Selected List of American Ceramic Artists
    (pp. 213-223)