Ceramic art is a big part of our history here at Lark. We have been publishing hardworking and beautiful ceramics books for decades. In fact, our company founder now runs a studio for ceramic artists (Marshall High Studios). So to say everyone here at Lark was excited to work on a special edition of the 500 ceramics series would be an understatement.
Rather than simply pick and choose our favorites from the past decade, we invited many of the best jurors and artists in the field to select their favorites for The Best of 500 Ceramics. We also encouraged jurors to pen a few words on why they thought a particular piece was the best of the best. The result is a book with a layer of thought and contemplation new to the 500 series. For many artists, having a prominent figure in the field comment upon their work was one of the most exciting parts of this project.
I would like to also share a few words from the foreward, written by Glen R. Brown. He does an excellent job summing up where contemporary ceramics finds itself at this moment in time:
“Twenty years of observing contemporary ceramics from the perspective of an art historian and critic have led me to accept a certain paradox: the only sound generalization about contemporary ceramics is that no generalization is ultimately sound.
The field is simply too diverse. In fact, its only truly defining trait, apart from a steadfast devotion to clay, may be the democracy of its embrace. Time-tested ideas are rarely abandoned by the historical wayside, while new trends and techniques exert a constant allure for today’s ceramic artists…
When I served as a juror for Lark Crafts’ 500 Ceramic Sculptures in 2009, I found the experience exhilarating. The process reaffirmed my conviction that clay will never lose its relevance as a medium of expression and an avenue for intellectual exploration. Its applications have been every bit as innovative over the past 10 years as at any time during its long history in human hands.
The Best of 500 Ceramics reflects on that unflagging innovation as much as it recaps a decade of inspiring work. This reflection is unique in that it has been woven from the multiple perspectives of those who know ceramics best.”
You can find The Best of 500 Ceramics at Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.