I recently acquired the book Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist's Guide to Glaze and Color by Brian Taylor and Kate Doody. Now, as a ceramicist and a bibliophile I have an entire bookcase full of ceramics books, many of which discuss glazes to some degree or another. I must say that Glaze is quickly becoming my favorite. The book is divided into four chapters: Understanding Glazes, Color, Making and Testing Glazes, Directory.
Chapter one, Understanding Glazes is a very complete, without being overly technical, discussion of glaze materials and their chemistry. This chapter discusses glaze history, kilns, materials and materials safety, and glaze defects and remedies.
Chapter two, Color discusses color theory and it's application in ceramics. I found this section to be unique among my glaze books as most ceramic glaze books are a discussion of the chemistry of glazes without discussing their application to the art side of the craft. I know that finding glazes that "work" together artistically is a challenge for me. As a ceramic artist, not a painter, I have not studied very much color theory and I think this discussion will help me greatly in my artistic endeavors.
Chapter three, Making and Testing Glazes further delves into the nitty gritty of making glazes. This chapter discusses how to mix glazes, understanding glaze recipes, testing of glazes, how to alter glazes, glaze application and how to keep a glaze journal. There is even a discussion of some of the non-glaze finishes being used by artists today. In short, all the ins and outs of finishing a ceramic piece.
It is really Chapter four, Directory that makes this book worth the price of admission. The directory consists of an overview of 100 of today's hot ceramic artists and is full of eye candy! Each artist in the directory is given two pages with a discussion of their artistic approach, the technical details of their pieces, two images of their work, color swatches of the artist's pallet and a glaze recipe or two (or more!). As always, it's fun to see how artists are using the medium of ceramics. This approach allows the reader to get a few of the artists' little secrets for creating their amazing artwork.
I would highly recommend this book to any ceramic artist, regardless of whether or not you are interested in making your own glazes simply because of all the great artist tips in this book.
In other news, work continues on the molds for the project I've been working on. I'll be doing the final sanding on the molds today and then I just need to get them dry so I can start casting.