By James C. Watkins & Paul Andrew Wandless
This is one of those books that makes you a little bit crazy inside. At least, it will if you're an artist who works in Ceramics!!
The Author and Photographer gathered a group of Ceramic Artists at a mountaintop studio retreat, and each artist made or brought thier own system for firing Ceramics. Cheifly Raku or post-firing effects, each of these methods is accompanied with JUST enough of the instructions and photographs to teach you to do it... similarly, but not /exactly/, the same.
This is, of course, maddeningly exciting to a Ceramic Artist- to be given new tools, new ideas, and told "now... you go run with them!"
My Housemate is probably praying now, I don't build a Raku-style pit, or a sawdust reduction chamber in the backyard. ;)
Personally, I'm NOT a fan of Raku. I don't really care for the kind of imperfections it usually causes, and while I realize the fact that nothing you do with Raku can ever be quite duplicated makes it exciting, I think it all ends up looking so much the same in most cases, it's overdone and annoying-
This book offers some OTHER options, than the traditional, overused forms of Raku... and it's got my brain to thinking about them.
I'm pleased I ran across it, and I am pleased I read it, cover-to-cover, and made notes to boot. ;) I see a sawdust barrel, a wood glazing drum, or some other form of 'nature-based' post-firing decoration or glazing in my near future... a heavily smoked native-style vessel would be amazing. Wouldn't it?