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The Complete Potter by Steve Mattison
It's always a good sign when there is a piece of Raku pottery on the cover of a book. This book is a good combination of technical information accompanied with lots of wonderful examples from a variety of different artists.
The books starts out with an overview of clay, and the various types of clay including an example of a Raku clay body and recipe for those who are inclined to mix their own clay.
Mattison mentions coloring clay with oxides. This might provide and interesting technique for the Raku potter, to color a clay and then use a clear crackle glaze to product colorful crackle.
The next sections cover a variety of construction methods such as handbuilding, throwing, molds, etc. including a section on the aspects of design and how to create new and exciting forms.
One topic that is not generally covered in many technical pottery books is large sculpture and installation ceramics. This book does include small sections on each of these topics including multiple methods of hanging installation pieces.
The glazing section covers the various types of glazes, application techniques, and resist methods. Included are some general details of how many chemicals influence a glaze. There are a couple of Raku glaze recipes detailed, but nothing too extensive.
The Firing section is probably the most interesting to the Raku potter. There are several low firing techniques that should be of interest: Raku, Saggars, Pit firing, Sawdust firing, and Smoke firing. Each of these methods is closely related and many of the same techniques, equipment, and glaze materials are interchangeable. This section might provide you with a new spark of creativity or a new method to try.
Overall, the book is a good introduction to a multitude of pottery materials, techniques, and tools that can provide a springboard into a new or different area of pottery. The page or two dedicated to each topic is not comprehensive but should provide enough information for preliminary experimentation and provide a direction to research for further details from other sources.
Steve Mattison appears to be primarily a Raku potters so there are considerable number or Raku examples sprinkled throughout the book. For example, there is an amazing piece in the throwing section of a very large Raku bowl that is 3 feet across.
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(c) Copyright 2005, Gary R. Ferguson