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thePatientPotter is a blog that is designed to encourage and inspire fellow Potters and Entrepreneurs as it takes them through the challenges and triumphs of a 'potter on a mission'.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Book Review - Dirt for Making Things

Dirt for Making Things: An Apprenticeship in Maricopa Pottery
As told to Janet Stoeppelmann by Mary Fernald
Publisher: Northland Publishing
ISBN: 0-87358-599-2
Price: $14.95

This is my favorite pottery book right now. I've read it 3 times - it is a quick read, and each time I pick it up to read something I am inspired to pinch some pots; to sit back, relax and create a pot with my hands. I highly recommend this book to potters interested in processing their native clay, and hand-building as well as collectors interested in Maricopa pottery and their history.

Theme: This book centers around the Maricopa Indian Potters and their processes for making clay and pottery. The intent of the author was to document the processes that she learned while apprenticing with the Maricopa for future reference should their processes die out.

Character: You get to know Ida Redbird and her cousin Mary Juan, two of the original potters from the 1937-1940 revival period, and Elizabeth Hart who helped them and 18 other Maricopa potters start the Maricopa Pottery Cooperative. You meet Mabel Sunn and her daughter Barbara Johnson, potters who taught the author Maricopa processes.

Content: Full of black & white photos of potters making clay, potters making pottery, potters firing pots and the potters themselves. Full color photos of early and revival period pottery. Illustrated Maricopa designs. And detailed instructions of Maricopa pottery processes.

Writing Style: This book is written in a very personable manner and is only 98 pages (including index). Light reading that packs a powerful punch.

All in all this is a great little book for your pottery library and in my opinion, worth every penny.

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