Ceramics in the Environment: An International Review

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9781574982701: Ceramics in the Environment: An International Review
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In Ceramics in the Environment, world renown ceramic artist Janet Mansfield shows how ornamental, architectural and large-scale ceramic works have always appeared on buildings and in the landscape since the beginning of ceramics in civilization. This book provides a look at the vast array of ceramics being produced today around the world in this context.
The book divides work up into themes such as Symbolism, Pattern and Geometry, Architecture, Nature and the Human Figure, and is focused on the aesthetics and relevance of work in relation to its location. Beautifully designed and illustrated, the works of 97 ceramicists are featured in more than 220 photographs, showing the finished work in situ, as well as discussing the issues surrounding the construction of these ambitious and monumental projects. Examples of these works are the installation of giant tiles and stone seating in Victoria Square (Holmfirth) by Jim Robison or the Darling Harbour Mural in Sydney, Australia. Other contemporary artists featured include Nino Caruso, Zhu le Geng, Nina Hole, Imre Schrammel, Carmen Dionyse and Gwen Heeney.
The works of the featured ceramists from around the world reinforce the universal importance of clay as an abundant utilitarian as well as magical material that is able to be processed into works of expressive power.
Janet Mansfield states that "one of the reasons for writing this book was the need, as I saw it, to draw attention to the work of ceramic artists who make large-scale works for placement in public or private environments. These works are usually made on commission, often in collaboration with an architect, and with a specific place in mind. The client for whom the work is made, as a rule, also has a say in the final outcome for the project."
The text concentrates on the contemporary application of the use of ceramics in environmental settings, acknowledging the fact that, historically, ceramic materials have been used over the centuries: to clad porous building materials; to make them fire- and waterproof; to decorate walls; to tell a story or provide ornamentation; to form complete sculptures to enrich an area or honor a personage.
Mansfield has divided the artists and their work into chapters with nominated headings, including them where she thought they would fit best according to their artistic intentions. The chapter headings are meant as a general classification and the artists could be seen to fit into or overlap a number of categories. The artist themselves supplied the illustrations, and the text was taken from interviews, written statements or reviews about their work garnered from a number of sources such as books, magazines and newspaper articles.

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About the Author:

Janet Mansfield is the editor of Ceramics: Art & Perception, and Ceramics Technical, as well as being a widely-known ceramicist. She is often asked to be a judge on international panels.

Review:

With the resurgence of the use of ornamental, celebrative and contemplative artworks in the built and natural environments, this book is a timely reminder of the appropriateness of the use of clay for such work as well as the near universality of it usage. The range of work presented in Ceramics in the Environment reflects both the myriad applications of clay as well as its ability to express a multitude of ideas in the hands of talented ceramists. These works communicate powerfully with their specific environments and with the reader in a way that transcends differences in geography and language. --Michael Keighery, Head of Fine Arts at University of Western Sydney

From the meditative to the energetic, the timeless to the contemporary, the intimate to the expansive there is more, much more. The range of work offered by Mansfield reveals numerous applications of clay as well as its ability to articulate myriad ideas in the hands of talented artists and craftsmen. I cannot think of anyone who could have written such a book better. --Moyra Elliot, Ceramics: Art and Perception

The book is ...a feast for the eyes. I found this book to be very inspirational for my own work in ceramics. --Judith Gary, SACA News (Southern Arizona Clay Artists)

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ISBN 10:  0713668512 ISBN 13:  9780713668513
Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd, 2005
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