Susan Halls is the author of Ceramics for Beginners: Animals & Figures (9781600597060). Her work has exhibited widely throughout the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe, including: The Sackler Foundation, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Aberystwyth University, Wales; the Shigaraki Ceramic Center, Japan and the Contemporary Art Society, London.
"Pottery in all its various shapes and colors is infinitely appealing, but the crafting can be daunting considering the materials and time needed. Potter and author Halls (Ceramic for Beginners: Animals & Figures, 2011) solves that dilemma through pinch pottery, when not wheels but hands (and occasional household implements) are used to create ceramic things of beauty. Traced to 3000 BCE, pinch pottery is accessible to all crafters, and the author makes it even more so through her instructional methods. First, she covers mastering essential shapes, such as spheres, wide bowls, spouts, and cylinders, followed by customizing elements--lips, edges, feet, handles, lids, and knobs. Not only are there multiple forms to consider, she also explains the how-to's in simple language accompanied by close-up color photographs--whether it's to achieve a sgraffito or inlaid effect or to attach a braided or coiled handle. Bereft of decorating ideas? Halls teaches the art of surface treatments--color and glaze--through words and pictures and provides actual art patterns (straight line, foliage, and square motifs) to emulate. Once she explains the basics, the nine designs appear, each with the same attention to detail as pottery's ABC's: a hearty mug-tankard shows off bold stripes while a cozy monochromatic teapot is elegant in its simple lines. Galleries, sidebars, and appendixes (glaze and slip recipes, glossary, reference material, author bio) fill in any conceivable information gaps. Pinch perfect." --Booklist (STARRED review)