500 Animals in Clay Contemporary Expressions of the Animal Form: The book focuses on showcasing contemporary expressions of the animal form in clay, highlighting the work of 45 ceramic artists from around the world.
Key ideas or arguments presented
The book emphasizes the diversity of approaches artists take when working with clay and animals, showcasing a wide range of techniques, styles, and forms. The pieces featured in the book range from realistic depictions to abstract interpretations of animals, demonstrating the versatility of clay as a medium.
Summary of each chapter
- Introduction: Provides an overview of the book’s purpose and themes, as well as an introduction to the featured artists.
- The Animal Form: Discusses the significance and symbolism of animals in art, as well as the technical challenges of working with animal forms in clay.
- Ceramic Methods and Approaches: Explores the various techniques and approaches artists use when working with clay and animals, such as hand-building, wheel-throwing, and surface decoration.
- Expressive Forms: Showcases a wide range of animal forms, from realistic representations to abstract interpretations, highlighting the diversity of approaches artists take when working with clay and animals.
- The Artists: Profiles each of the 45 featured artists, providing insight into their backgrounds, inspirations, and approaches to their work.
Points from the book
- The book emphasizes the importance of observing and studying animals in order to accurately depict them in clay, with many of the artists discussing their experiences of visiting zoos and wildlife sanctuaries for inspiration.
- Several of the artists highlight the importance of texture and surface pattern in their work, using a range of techniques such as carving, imprinting, and layering to create unique and intricate surfaces on their animal forms.
- The book also showcases a number of non-realistic or abstract interpretations of animals, demonstrating the versatility of clay as a medium for expression.
Key takeaways or conclusions
The book highlights the diversity of approaches and styles that artists take when working with clay and animals, showcasing the versatility of the medium and the potential for artistic expression. It also emphasizes the technical challenges and importance of observation and study when working with animal forms.
Author’s background and qualifications
Suzanne J. E. Tourtillott is an editor, writer, and curator specializing in ceramics and crafts. She has authored several books and edited numerous magazines and publications in the field, including Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated.
Comparison to other books on the same subject
500 Animals in Clay distinguishes itself from other books on ceramics and animal forms by focusing specifically on contemporary expressions of the animal form in clay. While other books may cover similar topics, this book provides a unique and up-to-date perspective on the subject.
Target audience or intended readership
The book is aimed at ceramic artists, students, and enthusiasts interested in animal forms and contemporary approaches to working with clay.
Reception or critical response to the book
The book has received positive reviews for its comprehensive approach to the subject and its diverse range of featured artists and techniques.
Is the data used in the book supportive of its thesis statement?
The data and examples presented in the book support its thesis statement that contemporary ceramic artists are exploring a wide range of approaches and styles when working with animal forms in clay.
Has the book met its purpose?
Yes, the book effectively showcases a diverse range of contemporary expressions of the animal form in clay, providing insights into the technical and artistic challenges of working with the medium.
“500 Animals in Clay: Contemporary Expressions of the Animal Form” is a diverse and captivating collection of contemporary animal-themed ceramics. The book features selected artists’ notes and astute and illuminating commentary, highlighting the works of distinguished artists like Joe Bova, Joy Bosworth, and Ann Marais.
One of the standout pieces in the book is Ann Marais’ image of a stoneware turtle, which was painted and smoke-fired by the artist and exudes a combination of artful realism and provocative surrealism. Marais’ work is just one example of the beautifully crafted works that populate the pages of “500 Animals in Clay.”
The book also features works that explore the boundaries between the animal and human worlds, including animal-human hybrids that blur the lines between the two. These pieces showcase the artists’ creativity and skill in bringing living creatures to life through their art.
The magnificent gallery of works in the book includes pieces made from a variety of materials, including porcelain dishes and stoneware sculptures like Sharkus’ painted and smoke-fired turtle. The works in the book exhibit an Asian quality and demonstrate the timelessness of animal forms in art.
Overall, “500 Animals in Clay: Contemporary Expressions of the Animal Form” is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary explorations of the timeless form of creatures, and it can be found on websites like AbeBooks.
Tourtillott, Suzanne J. E.. 500 Animals in Clay: Contemporary Expressions of the Animal Form. United States: Lark Books, 2006.