From the Publisher
“Staubach successfully communicates the passion she feels for her material (both literal and literary) in this extensively researched overview of clay.”Publishers Weekly
“Most of us see clay as the stuff at the end of our shovel. . . . Staubach sees spark plugs, semiconductors, and surgical equipment.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Staubach . . . provides readers with a joyful introduction to an art she clearly loves. . . . Highly recommended.” Library Journal
“[Staubach’s] background as a potter imbues her prose with a thematic intimacy.”
Staubach, a potter and freelance writer, successfully communicates the passion she feels for her material (both literal and literary) in this extensively researched overview of clay. What is this ubiquitous stuff? It began as granite, which over millions of years was ground down by rain, sleet, snow and chemical forces into what we now know as clay. The first known clay objects were small religious figures, followed by pottery vessels, in Neolithic times. The oldest such pottery known was produced by the Joman peoples of Japan. In addition to an informed discussion of clay ovens used by various cultures over time, the author compares these cultures' designs as pottery grew to be an art form. Ancient Greeks, for example, created a unique appearance by controlling the atmosphere of their kilns. Clay, Staubach says, has served many purposes: clay tablets were used for the earliest writing; it also became the key ingredient for building houses and, in modern times, sewer pipes and flush toilets. Some sections of this account will be of most interest to potters, pottery aficionados or those with an interest in earth science, but Staubach leavens her facts with captivating anecdotes throughout. Photos. Agent, Ed Knappman. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Staubach, a writer and potter, provides readers with a joyful introduction to an art she clearly loves. We learn about clay as used for dishes, plumbing, stoves, writing tablets, chicken feeders, silos, and garden furniture and in art and home construction. No location or time period is ignored: Staubach examines the use of clay in various regions (e.g., Mexico, Egypt, China) and across time, from ancient history to today. She devotes each chapter to one general topic, such as tableware, sanitation, or building materials. We learn about the firing and glazing of clay and how potters have worked this material throughout time. We also gain an understanding of humankind's relationship to this humble material. Staubach's writing is clear and easy. At the conclusion readers will find bibliographical notes by chapter and a complete bibliography. Highly recommended for all collections, particularly those in art/ceramics.-Michael D. Cramer, Schwarz BioSciences, RTP, NC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.