One of the world’s best potters’ magazines, STUDIO POTTER, that comes out of the north-east of the USA, has just made available to members all the previous issues – free online and also at a reduced cost in real paper. Forty years’ worth of an excellent publication. It was started by the late, wonderful, Gerry Williams back in 1972 I think. I have subscribed on and off over years, enjoyed every issue received and as I am again a member I can now fill the gaps. You’ll find that it deals with mainly one subject in each issue. I have always kept my copies as they are very worthwhile to dive into again and again.
I remember one issue devoted to Copper (8/1) and wondering if what was (as was reported here) a sure way to achieve brownish/purplish liverish was always the case, tried some of the hints and suggestions and voila! – mottled pinks, rich purples and deep carmine reds became accessible! Another issue (18/1) was called The Road to Miyama, and carried fascinating tales about apprenticeship in Japan. Yet another about Urban Potters (9/1) and I discovered the wonderful work of Jim Makins who lives and works in downtown Manhattan, others on Color (14/2), Function (13/2), Drawing on Clay (13/1) or Wood-firing (11/1) and so on. Always was an investigation of the potters in a particular city or State eventually covering the country, (Gerry Williams told me he had journeyed to NZ once but I have never yet found that one, if he covered it) and once I read about Ben and Jerry – now makers of some of the world’s best ice cream up there in Vermont but before that metamorphosis they were country potters. Ben and Jerry’s has just opened its first NZ outlet on Ponsonby Road – ask for the Cherry Garcia = big chunks of cherries and chocolate in vanilla – the best!
The current issue is on sustainability and Jonathan Mess begins his article with, “From the beginning, I figured out A. I don’t want to pay for anything, and B. there’s so much waste everywhere. I feel bad opening up a new bag of Neph Sy or something that was shipped in from California, or wherever.” … and ….
Susanne Staubach writes on the meaning of objects after death. “Stuff. My mother is gone, my father before her, and what we are left with is stuff. … I am forcefully reminded that the inanimate outlasts the animate. … Of course, what I choose for myself is pottery … the smaller jugs are in my kitchen now, on a shelf, visible from almost everywhere in the room. I placed them so that I can easily pick them up, run my hand over the glazes, feel the curves, understand the potter’s moves…”
‘Clay Objects in a Changing World’ is in part on the cultural signifiers that the surfaces and forms of pots are, alongside those well understood practical uses…
And much more on a range of subjects around sustainability from the ‘Ethics of Making’ to ‘Beyond the Havana Biennial’ (in Cuba) to ‘On the Mend’ about repairs and material additions to broken ceramics… and much, much more… about fifteen or so substantial articles and heaps of odds and ends, good images and always, good writing, well edited.
It’s a great magazine still, even though it has gone through forty years and some changes, as it should. Gerry died a few years ago and he was succeeded by Mary Barringer (now Editor Emerita) while now, Elenor Wilson is at the helm but still they source the best writers they can find on an issue and still each copy that arrives is packed with interest. There are only two issues a year for your US$70.00 (NZ$104.60 at current rates of exchange) but truly, it takes about the full six months to work thoroughly through and then I find the next one is there in the mail box. When you join you get two free additional print copies of your choice. Now with the ability to access online all those earlier issues it’s even more worthwhile.
Some of you will get C-Files, Garth Clark and Mark del Vecchio’s free weekly newsletter on a broad variety of subjects ceramic. Now they announce access to C-Files library – an online resource in ceramics from e-books and catalogues. The idea is they will publish, online, images and the essays from exhibition catalogues and e-books. They have already set up content from some 50 catalogues to start it off and will add another 4-6 each month.
The blurb says, “Our mission is to provide a knowledge centre that positions you for success…. giving you a competitive edge in this growing market” … and …“Traditionally, exhibition catalogues have top quality content, but they are printed and distributed regionally in limited numbers. For the first time, these catalogues are collected digitally in one place for an unparalleled opportunity for ceramic research.”
To join go to cfileonline.org and become a member then you will be directed to how to join the library. The first two weeks are free so you get a chance to peruse what is on offer and then you pay US$7-50 per month (which is US$90 annually and in real money some NZ$134-60 at current rates.