Traditional Potters From the Andes to Vietnam
Isabelle C. Druc
This beautifully illustrated book offers a look at traditional potters and their work, and at different hand building techniques and wheel throwing practices still in use in many parts of the world. Based on personal and first-hand accounts with potters of Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam, this book is as much a travel diary about ceramic production as a documentary spanning nearly 25 years of interest in the craft. Specialized in ceramic analysis and ethnoarchaeology, the author shares her passion in seeking to understand the art of the people, past and present. From one region or one country to the next, the reader will learn about different traditions and organization of production, about the factors affecting the choices and behavior of the potters, and about the materials used and their preparation. A small tour of markets, street kitchen and ceramic functions highlights the life of pots beyond the potters' hands. Concluding this tour of potters and traditional pottery making, the author opens a window into the world of ceramics at the microscopic level. Microscopes help see the different constituents of a ceramic paste, which in themselves offer clues as to the potter's work, technological tradition and resources used.
With more than 240 color photographs, this book illustrates the work of potters and traditional ceramic production with examples from Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam. Based on the author fieldwork and personal experience, it introduces the reader to a wide range of techniques and manufacture settings, as well as to some aspects of the distribution of the products and their use, in markets, homes and street kitchens. A final note offers a look at the ceramic paste as seen under a microscope. This window into an incredibly interesting microcosmos reveals aspects of the potters’ work and environment that help archaeologists better understand ancient technologies and the people behind them.