Ostracon 2 is glaze fired and ready to go! We created a comprehensive list of ceramics books from the past few years with quotes, descriptions and Amazon links so you can grab them for your library. We even notated our favorites with Recommended. While print publishing suffers, it is exceedingly important that these writers and publishers get recognized for their hard work. If you are a member, view the Ostracon, or begin your 30-day free trial.
Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and Community
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016, 304 Pages
Ceramic is the oldest plastic art form. Yet ceramic history (especially modern ceramic history) is largely absent from art history coursework, leaving our students with a dwindling understanding of the tradition or timeline which they are being influenced by and contributing to. And what a rich history academia turns its back on! Compare this with other mediums like painting, sculpture, or even photography where a student’s history is taught alongside technical skill, with constant reference to the art canon. At Cfile, this fact has fueled our most recent enterprise, cfile.campus.
In 2016, Cfile expanded our publishing sphere. We were initially looking to increase readership of those glamorously designed exhibition catalogs that we pick up at galleries or look at longingly because we cannot afford the price. Because they are so expensive to produce, only a handful of us ever encounter the world class essays and ravishing photo documentation these compact books hold. Cfile set out to collect them, but instead of tucking them into a box in the attic, we convert them to eBooks and publish them online where they can be read and enjoyed globally by ceramics students and gallerists, or whoever cannot attend the hot art event.
C-Library launched in April 2016, a simple, searchable educational resource stacked with the seminal books, catalogs, and key texts for anyone in the field of ceramics: maker, collector, curator, educator, etc. It grows more robust by the day, as we are constantly sourcing new material and judging submissions.
C-Library functions the same way as Netflix— glamorous high resolution, more content than you could ever use, instantaneous.
The Ceramics Reader
Edited by Andrew Livingstone and Kevin Petrie
London: Bloomsbury, 2017, 616 Pages
I began digging through Garth and Mark’s library, hunting for old, yellowed catalogs, pamphlets and books that still have something to offer us in 2017; historical gems full of images and essays of value. We digitalized and published a pair of Richard Notkin catalogs, one from the Seattle Art Museum and another from the Yellowstone Art Museum. One has an inscription on the inside cover from Notkin to Garth, “…with great appreciation for your long support of my work.” One by one, we will obtain permission to digitize these key 20th century documents and publish them in our library. We will keep history alive.
Ostracon Journal of Criticism + Issues is a new part of cfile.campus. In Ostracon 1, we published a 54-page flipbook essay by Mary Callahan Baumstark, criticism of popular pottery with images to support her research.
In the second issue, we aim to make a comprehensive list of ceramics books annually, noting throughout which ones we recommend to libraries and book collectors. Though most of these books were published in 2016, some are as early as 2014 and as late as 2017. It is important that these books are recognized.
Tea Ceremony Manual
New York: The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, 2016, 280 Pages
Cfile is to the greater extent print free — we communicate and publish online. But that does not mean that we are not all bibliophiles. Our library grows apace, so much so that our library has almost run out of shelf space. So go through the list and buy, but exercise judgment and don’t buy books that are a waste of paper, and let’s keep the best of print alive and actual.
There are always highlights in the midst of these books, and Kevin Petrie and Andrew Livingstone’s The Ceramic Reader (2017) is a major, major event and revisits critical writing of the past 100 years of ceramic history by offering the best and brightest scholarly essays from the time.
Also noteworthy is Tom Sach’s latest Tea Ceremony Manual (2016), a wild and fully illustrated ride through the Japanese ritual of tea featuring Sach’s unforgettable NASA tea bowls and a reimagining of the tea ceremony in outer space.
Kerimikeren: Richard Manz
Edited by Cecilie Man, Jacob Manz, Mathilde Manz
Copenhagen: Glydendal, 2015, 267 Pages
If a particular book has Cfile’s endorsement, it will be signaled by the word, Recommended, at the end of the text. Those that do not have this endorsement are still of worth but may have shortcomings like insufficient text or lack context. To purchase a book, click the title, and Amazon will make a small contribution to to our educational programs. We appreciate your support.