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Electric Kiln Ceramics: A Guide to Clays and Glazes Paperback – May 20, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Zakin is a well-known expert and respected teacher, potter and writer. His own work has been exhibited around the country. A highly respected, prolific writer, he has written numerous articles for popular ceramics publications and continues to write about ceramics, clay artisans and design issues, setting standards for fluency in today's language of contemporary art. Other books by Richard include Ceramics: Mastering the Craft, Hand-formed Ceramics: Creating Form and Surface, and Ceramics: Ways of Creation, all published by Krause Publications.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publications; 3 edition (May 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873496043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873496049
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gadget Fan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
*** Note ***
This review pertains to the 2004 all-color edition of this book. Because I don't think that Amazon has yet implemented time travel to future books for its customers, it is clear that the reviews dated 2000 and 2001 pertain to a much older edition of this book.

This book seems a very reasonable introductory survey of things you do in ceramics, so would be a reasonable self-teaching text for someone using an electric kiln (check the table of contents to see the topics). About half the book is technique (though not as detailed as many other books, such as Petersen or Warshaw). Technique discussion is illustrated by many fascinating photos. Then about half the book is simply "Gallery" with more fascinating and beautiful photos, but no text. So the quantity of text is not huge, but what is there seems quite useful.

In the discussion section, at various points it got quite interesting. E.g. with glazes, it goes through things that can occur in glazes (crawling, shivering, crazing, etc.), and then tells you how to accomplish it if you want, and then how to avoid it if you don't. To me this was one of the more fascinating because it explained how these effects came about and how to strive for them. This particular part was only a few pages, but quite worthwhile if these kinds of things interest you.

At time to time, as appropriate, there were discussions relevant to electric kilns, but the whole book wasn't just electric kilns. This book is more of an artistic text book with electric kiln pointers, than a highly technical electric kiln book.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a ceramics instructor and find this book a useful text. I teach a class on ceramic materials and electric kiln finishes and use this book for class. It is laid out so students at any level can benefit. The photos both color and black & white are great examples of the topics covered in each section. A great resource for anyone interested in testing, developing or just getting started in oxidation firing and finishes.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very helpful guide, especialy for creative but not so technicaly educated beginners, such as my self.It provides all sorts of informations on glazes,as well as meny recipes that guarantee succesful results and great looking effects on your ceramics.It brings more fun into experimenting, mixing and searching for new effects. I recomend this book to everybody and I hope you vill profit from it as much as I did !
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Format: Hardcover
This book does a very poor job of presenting what
little information it contains.
For the studio potter there is only one valuable piece of information:
in electric firing, slow firing is good and
long soaks are better for proper glaze development.
I've tried several of the cone 6 and cone 10 glaze recipes,
the results were mostly awful. The technical discussion
of materials and equipment is too brief to make this
a real resource in the studio. Most electric kilns now
come with computer controllers, and there's nothing on
how to use them - just a few graphs of what an ideal firing
cycle should look like.
As other reviewers have noted, the black and white photographs
don't do justice to the pieces. Furthermore, the choice of
examples is very biased towards the non-functional, sculptural,
and just plain academic ugly. The overall presentation -
choice of font, layout, and general lack of design also
contributes to ones overall disappointment with this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a real novice at pottery. I've read a few books, visited many websites, taken a few classes & read the manual on my kiln (VERY brief & only containing minimal information). After looking through this book I realized that using my current resources, I could probably WRITE it!.
If you want to see TONS of mediocre quality BLACK and WHITE photos of esoteric pottery, you've got the right book. If you are looking for technical explanations and help on the process of firing pottery & ceramics, keep shopping.
If you even have an INKLING of expecting help on your kiln that has an electronic control device (Such as the Skutt KM models), FORGET about this book; there is absolutely NO information of any substance here. Or even if you want a more detailed description of how to understand and/or manipulate the manual process, don't expect to count on this reference.
A REAL dissappointment. I couldn't return it fast enough.
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Format: Paperback
The paperback is not just a paper version of the hardback, which Amazon makes it sound like it is, but a whole different, and much better, book. The hardback (edition 2) has poor black and white photos and treats many subjects in very cursory way. The paperback has wonderfully original art in color, and is very thorough on ways of marking and glazing. I was not careful and now have a crummy 2nd edition hardback which I don't know quite what to do with.
My 5 stars are for the paperback. I would only give 2 stars to the 2nd edition hardback.
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Format: Paperback
Contains a wealth of detailed info about electric kiln construction and usage, and about how to mix and use clays and glazes. The editor should have done a better job, because the wording is sometimes awkward and tedious, but it's still a good reference book containing very valuable information. Also has many excellent photos of finished work, as well as side essays about individual ceramists.
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