Ceramic Literacy Club : Live Form

Updated: 5 days ago



Bridget Fairbank has created the Ceramic Literacy Book Club open to all. She was inspired to make this long-time goal come true by a talk at the recent a Ceramic Congress online conference..


Ceramists are rigorous passionate researchers but as always, more minds are better than one. If you need to make space in your studio practice to connect with written works, join up for a book a month! sign up here and you will automatically receive a zoom link (50 Participants Max). Four months are scheduled already and spaces are filling up.


June 30th 6pm MST

Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community by Jenni Sorkin.


Jenni herself will be joining us on zoom!


"Ceramics had a far-reaching impact in the second half of the twentieth century, as its artists worked through the same ideas regarding abstraction and form as those for other creative mediums. Live Form shines new light on the relation of ceramics to the artistic avant-garde by looking at the central role of women in the field: potters who popularized ceramics as they worked with or taught male counterparts like John Cage, Peter Voulkos, and Ken Price.


Sorkin focuses on three Americans who promoted ceramics as an advanced artistic medium: Marguerite Wildenhain, a Bauhaus-trained potter and writer; Mary Caroline (M. C.) Richards, who renounced formalism at Black Mountain College to pursue new performative methods; and Susan Peterson, best known for her live throwing demonstrations on public television. Together, these women pioneered a hands-on teaching style and led educational and therapeutic activities for war veterans, students, the elderly, and many others. Far from being an isolated field, ceramics offered a sense of community and social engagement, which, Sorkin argues, crucially set the stage for later participatory forms of art and feminist collectivism."


July 25th 6pm MST

The White Road by Edmund de Waal


"Extraordinary new non-fiction, a gripping blend of history and memoir, by the author of the award-winning and bestselling international sensation, The Hare with Amber Eyes'.


In The White Road, bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or "white gold." A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than forty years, de Waal describes how he set out on five journeys to places where porcelain was dreamed about, refined, collected and coveted - and that would help him understand the clay's mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three "white hills" - sites in China, Germany and England that are key to porcelain's creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of twentieth-century history.


Part memoir, part history, part detective story, The White Road chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls The Hare with Amber Eyes, de Waal gives us a singular understanding of "the spectrum of porcelain" and the mapping of desire."


August 30th 7:15 MST

Vote on your choice by July 1.


Sign up for an August read and rate your top three choices for what to read in the sign up form comments or email me your choice.


1) Fewer, Better Things by Glenn Adamson

2) How to See: Looking Talking, and Thinking about Art by David Sell

3) New Wave Clay by Tom Morris

4) Betty Woodman: Theatre of the Domestic By (artist) Betty Woodman

5) Paul Mathieu Art of the Future

Published Online Here: http://www.paulmathieu.ca/theartofthefuture/The%20Art%20of%20the%20Future.pdf


September 30th 7:15 MST

Good Earth: The Pots of Walter Ostrom


Naomi Clement, author of an article on Walter Ostrom in Sept's Ceramic Review Magazine will be joining us!


"Walter Ostrom has been described as an "innovative traditionalist," a disruptive force shaking up ceramic conventions while simultaneously enriching them. Hired to teach studio and Asian art history at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1969, Ostrom was one of many American artists who moved north to Canada in the fallout from the Vietnam War.


Ostrom’s work, from his embrace of conceptual art in the 1970s to his current exploration of the vast history, hybridization, and social foundation of ceramics, marks him as a major force in the development of contemporary ceramics. As Ray Cronin writes, Ostrom’s works "declare themselves to be art and craft at once, tradition and innovation merged, beauty and function reconciled, thought and action combined. What more could one ask from any work of art?"


Accompanying a major retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia opening in May 2020, Good Earth features essays by leading scholars and curators along with full-colour reproductions of over fifty examples of Ostrom’s works."


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If you have any questions or book suggestions please email bpracticalpottery@gmail.com


What should we read next?


On my reading list:

How to See: Looking Talking, and Thinking about Art by David Sell,

Education for Socially Engaged Art by Pablo Helguera

Much Depends Upon Dinner by Margaret Visser

The Craft Reader by Glenn Adamson,

New Wave Clay by Tom Morris,

Ceramics, Art and Civilization by Paul Greenhalgh





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