Once at a Bruce Cochrane workshop, a woman in the audience was compelled to recommend to anyone who throws clay on the potter's wheel A Potter's Workbook by Clary Illian. The next year I was fortunate enough to see Clary herself put on a wheel throwing clinic. There I learned about truth to process, the difference between shape and form as well as methods for complementing one with the other. If you're short on tuition monies, this book is a beginner/intermediate/advanced course all in 112 pages.
description by swaptree
In A Potter's Workbook, renowned studio potter and teacher Clary Illian presents a textbook for the hand and the mind. Her aim is to provide a way to see, to make, and to think about the forms of wheel-thrown vessels; her information and inspiration explain both the mechanics of throwing and finishing pots made simply on the wheel and the principles of truth and beauty arising from that traditional method. Each chapter begins with a series of exercises that introduce the principles of good form and good forming for pitchers, bowls, cylinders, lids, handles, and every other conceivable functional shape. Focusing on utilitarian pottery created on the wheel, Illian explores sound, lively, and economically produced pottery forms that combine an invitation to mindful appreciation with ease of use. Charles Metzger's striking photographs, taken under ideal studio conditions, perfectly complement her vigorous text. A Potter's Workbook is designed to help students who are just learning to throw pots, potters who know how to throw but who feel the need for greater understanding, and skilled craftspeople who enjoy thinking about the objects they love.
"A POTTER'S WORKBOOK offers much for potters with varying degrees of experience, from the new student learning how to throw pots to potters well versed in traditional forms but searching for another vision or understanding. Illian provides a way to see, make, and think about the forms of wheel thrown vessels." - (Bloomsbury Review, 1/1/00)