Office of Public Affairs
(315) 341-2265
March 14, 2001
CONTACT: Richard Zakin, 312-3237
OSWEGO -- Richard Zakin, a professor of art at SUNY Oswego, covers just about everything about the technology of ceramics that a potter needs to know in the new edition of his book "Ceramics: Mastering the Craft."
About half of the material is new to this edition, he said, along with some of the more than 300 photographs, which now all appear in color. Artists have provided many of the photos, along with Zakin himself and his colleague in Oswego's art department Tom Eckersley.
"A very good book has become an even better book," Val Cushing writes in the book's foreword. Cushing is a potter who taught Zakin at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
A book of this sort should be updated about every 10 years, Zakin said, because "there's a lot of competition and, also, the field changes."
Advances and trends in materials and technologies as well as shifting interests call for new or expanded sections. "There's a great deal of interest in sculpture right now," he said, "so there's a lot more about sculpture than there was before."
Works by about 150 artists appear in the book, some of whom have emerged as notable in the field only in the past decade.
Series of photographs show step by step such processes as ceramic slab construction, throwing on a wheel, hand forming, creating a mold-formed vessel and sawdust firing.
"Color really helps to explain what's going on," Zakin said.
In addition to the technical aspects of clays, glazes, kilns, studio equipment and safe practice, the book includes a section on ceramic history.
"Ceramics: Mastering the Craft" was first published more than a decade ago by Chilton. The new edition is published by Krause Publications, the publisher of Zakin's other books.
The soft cover book is priced at $39.95 and is available at the River's End Bookstore in Oswego, where Zakin plans to do a reading, as well as the College Store.
Zakin joined Oswego's faculty in 1967. He is an expert in electric kiln ceramics, which was the topic of his first book, published in 1981.
The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts has recognized Zakin's outstanding contributions to the professional development of the ceramic arts with lifetime honorary membership.
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