Contemporary Ceramics


An essential and dynamic survey of cutting-edge contemporary ceramic work from around the world


ISBN: 9780500514870 Category:

Emmanuel Cooper


A worldwide survey of the most distinctive, intensely creative and innovative recent work, this book makes sense of a vast and increasingly diverse area of burgeoning talent, ranging from makers of functional objects, such as teapots and tableware, to those who explore the boundaries and possibilities of clay as an artistic medium.

Over the last decade the gulf that traditionally existed between the realms of ‘fine art’ and ‘craft’ has narrowed, resulting in a shift in perception of what ceramics can be and can mean. As a consequence all areas of ceramic practice have been revitalized and the creative possibilities that artists, lured by the plastic and tactile qualities of clay, have brought with them into ceramics have influenced ceramists of all backgrounds across the globe. This book showcases the exceptional and original work that has resulted.

Contemporary Ceramics covers every aspect of practice and includes work of all scales – from a few centimetres to vast room-sized installations. It is organized into five main chapters:

Beyond Utility – bold and original, yet functional ceramics, including tea sets, cups, teapots and dinner services

Defining Space – the vessel and its relationship to space and the void, featuring wheel-thrown shapes, slip-cast forms and hand-built structures

Mind the Gap – the plasticity of clay and its earthy associations, including sculptural work from precise and mechanical to freely modelled forms

A Sense of Space – installations, the site-specific and the environmental

The Line of Beauty – new creative possibilities and collaborations between art and industry, many of which have resulted from recent advances in technology.

An essential and invaluable analysis of work from the last ten years, with over 600 stunning illustrations, and complete with biographies of the featured ceramists and a list of selected art galleries and museums with collections of contemporary ceramics, this comprehensive survey will be an indispensable guide for ceramists, students and collectors alike.

Additional information

Weight 1500 g
Dimensions 21.8 x 23.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 12 November 2009
Number of pages 304
Format Hardback
Dimensions 21.8 x 23.9 cm
Weight 1500 g


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Emmanuel Cooper is Visiting Professor in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. Among his previous books are Bernard Leach: Life and Work, Janet Leach: A Potter's Life and Ten Thousand Years of Pottery.