500 Bowls Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design

“500 Bowls” is a collection of contemporary ceramic bowls, featuring over 500 works of art from around the world. The book explores the timeless design of bowls and how modern artists have reinterpreted this classic form.

Key Ideas or Arguments Presented

  • The bowl is a universal and timeless object, present in every culture throughout history.
  • Modern artists are using innovative techniques and materials to create unique and striking bowls that push the boundaries of traditional design.
  • The book showcases a diverse range of styles, from traditional to abstract, and materials, including clay, glass, metal, and more.
  • The commentary provides insights into the creative process and inspiration behind each piece.

“Each bowl tells its own story, embodies its own energy, and reflects the unique vision”

Ed Shears

Summary of Each Chapter

  • Introduction: Provides an overview of the book’s theme and content, highlighting the importance of the bowl in art and culture.
  • Chapter 1: Traditional Forms: Features traditional bowl shapes and designs, including Japanese and Korean styles.
  • Chapter 2: Surface Decoration: Explores the use of color, texture, and pattern on the surface of bowls.
  • Chapter 3: Abstract and Altered Forms: Showcases experimental and unconventional bowl shapes and designs.
  • Chapter 4: Figurative Bowls: Features bowls that incorporate figurative elements, such as animals or human forms.
  • Chapter 5: Narrative Bowls: Presents bowls that tell a story or convey a message through their design.
  • Chapter 6: Function and Utility: Highlights bowls that are designed for specific functions, such as serving or cooking.

Points from the Book

  • The book features works from over 250 artists, including established names like Betty Woodman and Jun Kaneko, as well as emerging artists.
  • The commentary provides insights into the creative process and inspiration behind each piece.
  • The book includes works made from a variety of materials, including ceramics, glass, metal, and wood.

Key Takeaways or Conclusions

“500 Bowls” showcases the versatility and timelessness of the bowl as a design object, with a diverse range of styles, materials, and techniques. The book is a celebration of creativity and innovation in contemporary ceramic art.

Author’s Background and Qualifications

Suzanne J. E. Tourtillott is a former editor of “Ceramics Monthly” and the author of several books on ceramic art, including “500 Teapots” and “500 Pitchers”.

Comparison to Other Books on the Same Subject

“500 Bowls” is part of a series of books by Lark Crafts that includes “500 Teapots,” “500 Vases,” and “500 Plates and Chargers.”

Target Audience or Intended Readership

The book is aimed at ceramic artists, collectors, and anyone interested in contemporary design and art.

Reception or Critical Response to the Book

“500 Bowls” has received positive reviews for its diverse range of styles and techniques, as well as the insightful commentary.

Is the Data Used in the Book Supportive of its Thesis Statement?

The book presents a wide range of contemporary bowls that showcase the timelessness and versatility of the bowl as a design object.

Has the Book Met its Purpose?

“500 Bowls” effectively showcases the creativity and innovation of contemporary ceramic artists in the realm of bowl design.


“500 Bowls” is a diverse and inspiring collection of contemporary ceramic bowls that showcases the timeless appeal and versatility of this classic form.

500 Bowls Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design is a book that showcases the work of numerous artists in the field of contemporary American pottery, including Ruchika Madan’s stoneware Fruit Bowl and Kate Maury’s wheel-thrown porcelain functional bowl. The book is part of the Art of Contemporary American Pottery series and is filled with color photographs of hand-formed ceramics and minimal shelf handling.

In addition to bowls, the book also includes exploration of other functional objects such as the Artful Teapot and Teapots Transformed. Each object is presented with hundred inspiring variations that demonstrate the artist’s boundless inventiveness and the potter’s imagination.

The book is ISBN-13: 978-1579905406 and ISBN-10: 1579905401, and is also known as Potter’s Book. It is edited by Suzanne Tortillot and Veronika Alice Gunter, and is a part of the Great Pots series. The book also features Wood-Fired Stoneware and Complete Pottery Techniques, making it an essential resource for anyone interested in the art and craft of ceramics.


500 Bowls: Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design. United Kingdom: Lark Books, 2003.

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