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the value of books. was out of print worth?

updated sun 11 jun 00


iandol on thu 8 jun 00

The Value of Books. was Out of Print WORTH?

Dear Andrea,

Searching for a good book which gives a comprehensive informative over =
view of ceramic science or technology is a search for the Holy Grail. =
You may eventually find something which will fill the bill but I doubt =
if it will ever occur.

I have Lawrence and West, Ceramic Science for the Potter. At that price =
I believe you would be over charged for dated information. The most =
important parts for me were the references. But there are sections which =
are incomplete and others which need updating.

Getting right up to date I have just had hold of Yvonne Cuff=92s book on =
Technology for Potters and Sculptors. This is a book for professional =
teachers, being in the format of a teaching programme with exercises and =
assessment notes. Again, I found it to be deficient in some areas and =
possibly erroneous in others. Add to which, though there is an extensive =
bibliography there are no references. I will not buy it.

I use my local TAFE library a lot and they get books form all over for =
me. I suggest you do this to review any book before you spend money. =
Because you are studying you are allowed to photocopy. Pick out the bits =
you need.

Yes, Ceramic Glazes by Parmellee is worth getting. Besides being chock o =
block with valuable information written so that it can be read it has =
most extensive references at the end of each chapter. These are =
important if you are going into a particular field in depth.

Next on my wish list would be Industrial Ceramics by Felix and Sonya =
Singer. Again, there are extensive first references which, though now =
dated, give valuable leads forward or back if you are tracing =
information in your research. I found this to be of great help in =
sorting out the truth about Eutectics.

For the real word on the science, if you know some science and can =
ignore or use math formulae, go for Prof. David Kingery et al, =
Introduction to Ceramic Science. Their description of the development of =
a glaze as it heats up says it all. Who needs eutectics!

A litmus test for the value of any book about pottery or ceramics is to =
look at the bibliography first. Compare that to the lists in other =
recent books. You will find that the same ideas are being rehashed. The =
words and pictures change but not the ideas. Errors and misinformation =
are carried forward and anyone who dares to challenge the status quo is =
accused of disloyalty. Out of any five books, all will list Leach and =
four out of five will list Rhodes and Cardew. Well I have Rhodes, Leach =
and Cardew, so why would I need the others except for entertainment.=20

The Made Simple Book series has a good one about pottery. Pottery Made =
Simple by Laurie Primmer, ATD., pub. W. H. Allen, London ISBN =
0-491-01640 1974. Only black and white photos but a wealth of hand drawn =
sketches. Covers every aspect without going into the math of glazes. =
Cost me about five dollars, new in 1977. The other Made Simple books are =
really exam revision texts for high school students. Unless you are keen =
on organic chemistry, forget that one. You have to have an inkling =
before you can understand them.

I hope that gives you some useful information,

Best regards,

Ivor Lewis. In S.Oz

Tim Havens on fri 9 jun 00

Now that this site is handled by the Amer. Ceram . Soc. you should start
to use these folks . If you see a ceram abstract in a biblio call'em up
and ask , they're very friendly they have sent me some for free , you
just need the noumber.
The US patient office has a wealth of stuff , again you just need a
number and about 4 bucks and they'll send all the info on the patient (
It's amazing , damn near everything has been patiented ). If it's public
domain , no karma . If it's not we're such small fry - - - - who knows.
Did I say that ?
The American Ceramics Society has just about every piece of info that
ever was, they are friendly .
Alohaz Tim

Andie on sat 10 jun 00

I see that this thread has turned into a "best glaze book" discussion, and
as a mostly book-taught potter (at least when it comes to glazing), I'd like
to add my two cents:

In my attempt to teach myself everything I can about glazes and glaze
chemistry, I've acquired about 25 glaze books, in and out of print, and so
far, I've gotten the most out of Chappell's "Clay & Glazes for the Potter"
(in print), Hamer's "The Potter's Dictionary of Materials & Techniques" (in
print), Cooper's "Glazes for the Potter" (out-of print), and Fraser's
"Glazes for the Craft Potter" (?). I'm still in the middle of Green's "A
Handbook of Pottery Glazes", but so far I'm bored, and while it doesn't
(yet) have much to do with glazes, I am instead completely absorbed by the
used copy of Bernard Leach's " A Potter's Book" that I just got a couple of
days ago. I'm still looking for a used copy of the Zakin book. For the
beginner, I warn against Robin Hopper's "The Ceramic Spectrum", as I got
very, very lost, "A Potter's Palette", which is pretty, but after the
pictures wear off, just tells you what colors to expect from individual
oxides, and would recommend (believe it or not), "Pottery: A Basic Manual"
by Cora Pucci, which has some very basic step-by-step instructions for
learning to build glaze formulas.

: ) Andie