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"Playing With Fire - Auckland Studio Potters turns 50"
  By: Peter Lange
Summary

Auckland Studio Potters Society Turns 50 

“Playing with Fire - Auckland Studio Potters turns 50”  is, as the title suggests, a celebration of the 50 years that Auckland Studio Potters (ASP) has been a force in the New Zealand Studio Pottery landscape.


Review

Reviewed by Greer Monkley

“Playing with Fire - Auckland Studio Potters turns 50”  is, as the title suggests, a celebration of the 50 years that Auckland Studio Potters (ASP) has been a force in the New Zealand Studio Pottery landscape.

The hardcover book is well presented with great photos by Yuki Sato with associated commentaries, letters and musings on the applied art from alumni and current members of the Society. One of the attributes that good Studio Pottery possesses is its intrinsic photogenic qualities that means this book is an excellent addition to any ‘coffee table’ library and like all good books of this type, Playing with Fire reflects well on its owner’s tastes and eye for visual art.

But this book isn’t just eye candy, it also seeks to be a time capsule of sorts for the many people that have been part of the ASP over its first 50 years and a reference for those members that will follow in the second half of the Society’s first century.

Flicking through the book, there is plenty to keep both those familiar with the arts of ceramic sculpture and domestic ware (functional studio pottery) alike. Pieces by co-author Peter Lange, Chester Nealie, Barry Brickell and Denis O’Connor were the standouts for me, although in reality almost all of the photos are of works that could be described as important in the Studio Pottery landscape.

The writings don’t follow a particular theme as Peter Lange notes in the foreword - the only two compulsory elements being Auckland and Ceramics lending the book an eclectic if not accurate view into the hearts and minds of New Zealand’s studio potters.

Chester Nealie describing his journey of discovery through kiln types that has helped to make him one of the most desired ceramic artists today, histories and insights into the lives and works of well known potters like John Parker, Barry Brickell, Helen Mason and the recently deceased Len Castle also make this book a resource for the contemporary collector who is always looking for clues and insights into the works of artists they collect.

Finally the book also gives voice to the potters in the Society whose names are not as well known but carry in them an attraction to the elemental milieu that Studio Pottery and potters possess. 

Click here for more information about the book
Date Entered: 04-May-2013