books i love

There are several books that stir something in me…make me want to spend the day cutting and pasting, painting and collaging, poking thru dusty 2nd hand stores looking for treasure, planning a scavenger hunt or writing a mystery.  Some are how to books, some journaling books, novels, some have nothing to do with creativity…  I will try to write a brief review of each I list, so you can get a feel for it first…

The Artist Way

For the artist, the writer, the film maker, the dancer, the architect, the poet…no matter what kind of creator you are, this book will feed your soul.  It is a series of exercises that lead you on a journey to reclaim your creativity.  There are quotes, experiments, journal prompts and an assortment of other things that will wake up your muse.

  • Challenges the artist to examine themselves
  • Dispels the myths about starving artists
  • Intrigues the reader to try some new things

Julia Cameron does a fantastic job of taking you on a trip to see what drives you as an artist, and where your heart is headed.  She examines roadblocks to success, deals with writers block and gives additional resources.  I would love to hear this woman speak someday!

The Spirit of Clay

This is one of my favorite books that has ever been written about clay! Art is not just about skill, it is about heart and soul, and this book addresses that from the very first paragraph.

  • Covers technique from handbuilding to refined throwing
  • Tons of information about glazing, firing and making
  • Written with the emotional side of the artist in mind

If you are just beginning in clay, boy are you in for a treat! This book is the only clay book I have ever come across that up front deals with the idea that art is not just a bunch of techniques that we are trained to use, or an assortment of skills that we mix in some kind of a recipe.

Instead Robert Piepenburg recognizes from the first page that artists are soul driven people, looking to make what is in their heart visible.

Soda Glazing

Soda Glazing by Ruthanne Tudball is a must-have if you are a potter or clay artist considering the move to vapor glazing, or would like more information on the process, the kilns and the clays.

  • Descriptive text about the soda glazing process
  • Clear and concise kiln diagrams
  • Profiles of potters’ firing methods

While this book assumes that you, as one who works with clay, have a rudimentary knowledge of the making and firing process, it does offer a range of basic to advanced information.

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