Aura Pottery

9 Pottery Books you should consider investing in

From beginning to learn pottery to an advanced level potter, every now and then we face a creative block or need a reference to execute an idea in mind. Although advice and solutions on pottery can be found all over the internet, there’s something different about picking up a book to reference the thoughts of master potters from around the world. We’ve put together a list of books that come highly recommended by our fellow potters.

From throwing to glazing, hand-building to functional pottery, get some inspirational ideas from these amazing books written by very talented ceramic artists themselves. They are worth each penny and are very helpful.

Here is the list of 9 pottery books we highly recommend:

1. Simon Leach’s Pottery Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Throwing Beautiful, Functional Pots
Simon Leach

A highly informative book with pictures and illustrations that are great for getting a visual understanding and enjoyable to refer to. Thorough and really easy to follow, this book has a satisfying amount of information and ideas.

2. The Potter’s Book of Glaze Recipes
Emmanuel Cooper

A simple but well-written book explaining everything you need to know about glazes. With a section on possible problems you could face with glazes and solutions along with a vast section on glaze recipes in reduction and oxidization, this book is excellent for beginners.

3. Potter’s Dictionary of Materials and Techniques (Ceramics)
Frank Hamer

This book is quite literally a dictionary of every term, material, and process related to pottery. It includes a practical explanation which is informative as well as sound and black-and-white illustrations to help assist understanding.

4. Functional Pottery: Form and Aesthetic in Pots of Purpose
Robin Hopper

If your style leans more towards the functional use of pottery then this one is for you. A compilation of philosophical and practical experiences of the great ceramic artist with an in-depth look at the functionality of pots and the evolution of design. 

5. A Potter’s Workbook
Clary Illian

For a more practical approach to the wheel, refer to this book for exercises to practice with. This book provides an altogether different perspective to see and make from the traditional method of wheeling. 

6. The Craft and Art of Clay
Susan Peterson

This step-by-step instructional and informative guide for both beginners and advanced ceramic artists comes highly recommended for DIY learners. A great guide and reference with lots of illustrations. 

7. The Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes: Glazing and Firing at Cones 4-7
John Britt

The must-have bible if you want to be a thorough potter and not a superfluous one! John Britt explains glazing so beautifully, and he’s shared so many recipes, that you’ll never run out of variety and new glazes to try out.

8. Ceramics: Ways of Creation
Richard Zakin

An inspirational book that looks at contemporary potters, their style, and what inspires them. It talks about all the creative stages i.e., from its beginning to the end result, and is particularly helpful when you are looking for new ideas.

9. Handbuilt Ceramics: Pinching, Coiling, Extruding, Molding, Slip Casting, Slab Work (Lark Ceramics Book)
Kathy Triplett

This book is a detailed ‘how-to’ handbook with clearly defined steps about shaping clay without a potter’s wheel. It has Kathy’s own ‘gallery’ work which is inspirational and beautiful.

What are your go-to pottery books? If you have some more helpful books that have been missed out do let me know by leaving a comment in the comment section below and don’t forget to check out our upcoming Pottery Retreat, it’s the perfect getaway for potters looking for a creative vacation!

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