Submitted by: Vivian Orr, SCC Communications & Publications Coordinator

“Lark Craft Books – 500 Series provides an overview of the best contemporary work in fields such as ceramics, jewelry making, woodworking, and more. Each book is juried by an expert, features informative introductory text, and showcases spectacular images of state-of-the-art work … With an international roster of contributors that includes both established names and up-and-coming craftspeople, each volume spotlights the shared and divergent approaches taken by artists who are producing visionary work.”

500 prints on clay carries on that tradition. As a graphic designer who likes to play with clay this is an easy book to love. The marriage between image-transfer techniques and clay give the pieces a very contemporary, cutting edge feel.

Yet there are visual allusions to historical imagery and shapes that imbue some pieces with a very “traditional” air. A perfect example of that is the set of “Chinese Zodiac Bowls” by Hong-Ling Wee. Stark white porcelain bowls with bright red Chinese “papercut” zodiac images. Very clean, very simple, very recognizable – but two formats not normally combined. Or the “Naked Raku with Koi”; an elegant, graphic black & white raku vase with skillfully integrated transfers of line drawn koi.

Does a factory-made sink covered in whimsical animal decals qualify as an “installation” piece? Maruta Mariza Raude sink is certainly entertaining. Charlie Cummings “Returning to the Light” is unquestionably an installation. Combining four-color separation silk-screen; ceramic monoprint, kiln glass cast, masked video as well as porcelain, and earthenware clay. It looks fascinating.

Lark Crafts has done a great job with 500 prints on clay and the 500 Series in general. If you see any of these books and it features a medium that interests you – flip through it. It is inspirational eye-candy for the artist.

You can visit the publishers website here