Clay and Glazes for the Potter by Daniel Rhodes This is my potters’ bible of technical information – a must read if you want to be a serious potter. If you have questions about clay and glazes, or just want to want to understand the chemical and physical side of pottery, read this book.
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. A young orphan boy living in a 12th Century Korean pottery village becomes fascinated as he watches a master potter at work. Devotion to one’s craft, and dedication to hard work are core values learned by the boy. He eventually becomes apprenticed to the master potter. The technical detail in this Newbury award winning novel is accurate and informative. You’ll want to mix your own slips and try doing inlay work. See the link on Korean pottery (under Links). View this related film
The Road to Miyama by Leila Phillip. A young woman goes to a rural Japanese village and learns the aesthetic and traditions of Japanese studio potters.
Oriental Glazes by Michael Bailey. An analysis of glazes based on the percentages of alumina and silica, as opposed to the typical “unity” formula approach. It also explains how to take a tenmoku glaze and shift it into teadust, iron red, khaki, or iron saturate.
Wheel Throwing by Emily Reason. A good all-around, well illustrated book of basic techniques and photos of contemporary pottery.
Making Marks by Robin Hopper. All robin hoppers books are good. They cover assorted topics and have good illustrations and photos of contemporary pottery.
Visit a Factory
If you want to visit some pottery factories and see how they make pots, there are two nearby in East Liverpool, Ohio, 50 minutes from Pittsburgh. You can visit Hall China in the morning and catch Homer Laughlin in the afternoon. There is a bridge across the Ohio River at East Liverpool. To get to Hall, cross to the north side of the Ohio River and go right about 2 miles. Homer Laughlin is on the south side of the Ohio River and to the west (downstream) about 2 miles. They both have seconds outlet shops with lots of great deals. Call for more information. Hall’s phone is 304-385-4103, Homer Laughlin’s phone 304-387-1300 Make reservations for the tours.