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Book Review of "Clay & Glazes for the Potter"

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Front cover of

Front cover of "Clay and Glazes for the Potter" by Daniel Rhodes, 3rd edition.

Beth E Peterson

The Bottom Line

If you are an avid professional or amateur studio potter, this is an outstanding resource. Daniel Rhodes' classic book has been enhanced through the revision and expansion done by Robin Hopper in the third edition. The third edition includes new and good information on current technologies and trends.
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Pros

  • Wonderful explanations of ceramic materials, how they work, and how they work together.
  • Extremely useful information if devloping your own clay bodies, slips, or glazes.

Cons

  • This book may not be suitable for pottery hobbyists who are not interested in such detail.

Description

  • Filled with practical knowledge based in the science of ceramics but written in plain language.
  • An extensive appendix section with valuable information including base formulas for glazes, conversion charts, and much more.
  • This is a solidly packed book; it is 352 pages long with 28 chapters, and no fluff.
  • Full-color photos, broken into historical pots, contemporary work, low-fire pieces, mid-fire pieces, and high-fire work.

Guide Review - Book Review of "Clay & Glazes for the Potter"

If you say Rhodes, a host of potters will immediately say "Clay and Glazes for the Potter." Well-written and using down-to-earth language, "Clay and Glazes for the Potter" has become the most widely used text in the field of studio ceramics and studio pottery.

Daniel Rhodes' definitive work delves into the underlying structure of what pottery is all about. Writing with detail and clarity, he explains clay itself, from its geologic origins to the compositions and preparation of clay bodies. He then moves to glazes, explaining in understandable language how glaze components work, colorants, how to calculate glaze formulas, glaze mixing and application, correcting glaze problems, and more.

As Rhodes stated in the author's preface to the first edition, his "purpose in writing this book has been to present in as clear and understandable a form as possible the important facts about ceramic materials and their use in pottery." He succeeded admirably, and Robin Hopper, who revised and expanded the third edition, has continued in that same spirit.

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