by Peter Lane
Peter Lanes recent publication Contemporary Porcelain, Materials,
Techniques and Expressions continues where his previous book
Studio Porcelain left off in 1980. The new publication examines
developments in porcelain amongst world studio potters, taking in
changes in perception and design, materials and techniques, that
have transpired in that period.
The author, himself an accomplished ceramic artist, has truly
surveyed the international studio porcelain scene in this beautifully
rendered publication. Lane begins with a scrutiny of developments
in studio porcelain over the past few decades, then moves on to
more technical areas, describing the qualities and properties of
porcelain, such as whiteness and translucency.
recipes for porcelain clay bodies are also included in this section..
This is followed by a survey of forming processes, such as wheel-throwing,
slip-casting and other techniques. A chapter on 'Inspiration in
/Design of Form' covers different forms of expression realised by
porcelain artists, including vessels and sculptures. Of interest
here is the departure by some porcelain artists from the traditional
interpretation of porcelain as a white, translucent, vessel oriented
material -- with sculptural results that can be truly amazing. Of
course the purity of the material offers a very seductive surface
for decoration. Lane describes painted decorative techniques, water-soluble
colorants, lustres, carving and piercing and inlay amongst
others. The final chapter deals with porcelain glazes and glaze
Do not be misled into believing that Contemporary Porcelain,
Materials, Techniques and Expressions is an instructional handbook.
It is not. While the studio potter will find much inspiration and
useful explanations in this book, the publication cleverly weaves
in the ideological and technical data while describing the work
of many well-known and some lesser-known but innovative porcelain
artists. While getting to know the work of such artists as Arne
Åse, Jeroen Bechtold, Elaine and Tom Coleman, Greg Daly, Margaret
Frith, Andrea Hylands, Karl and Ursula Scheid, or Geoffry Swindell,
to name only a few, the ceramist, collector, student or non-initiate
learns much about the soul of porcelain and after having read this
book, can easily participate in insider discussions on the topic.
With its many illustrations in black & white and full color,
this hardcover publication is a beautiul work, which should be sitting
on the shelves of anybody interested in contemporary ceramics.