The Potter’s Encyclopedia of Color, Form and Decoration

Ceramic vessels come in an enormous variety of shapes, colors and decorative finishes — a fact that contributes to the appeal and excitement of pottery as a medium, while presenting the potter with a bewildering number of choices...(Scroll for more.)



You save $7.00 (26%)!

Download a snippet!

Hardcover | 160 Pages
Order code B115 | ISBN 978-0-87349-677-3

…This comprehensive guide details more than 600 ceramic shapes and forms, extensively illustrated with inspirational photographs, elevation and section drawings, and comprehensive explanations to combine creativity and practicality. It also illustrates more than 700 individual glazes, with explanations of their properties, scope, and limits and provides instructions for creating them.

Got form?

The chapter on form is divided into seven sections, each of which is devoted to a major group of domestic ware. Each section starts with a general introduction to the group, highlighting its overall characteristics and qualities. This is followed by photographs and drawings of each of the main pieces. Body shapes, spouts, and handles are dealt with separately. Each has a double-page spread of photographs of actual pots on one side, and elevation and section drawings of both real and possible examples on the other. It has been designed to convey information about a wide range of shapes as simply as possible.

Color, color, color

The purpose of the chapter on color is to provide a practical guide to the colors that can be obtained by adding various oxides to a group of base glazes. Nine oxides, four glaze stains, and three opacifiers are used in conjunction with three base glazes that are fired across the earthenware and stoneware temperature ranges, and some examples in raku. The oxides, stains and opacifiers have been selected to produce a broad range of color and surface qualities.


Ornamentation, adornment, beautification — people have always used decoration to enhance their property, their environment, and their person. Decoration is sometimes referred to in dismissive tones, as if it were some kind of superfluous, even trivial “frill,” but that is to misunderstand its purpose, to underestimate its meaning and importance. In this section, French provides an pictorial survey of scores of decorating techniques and their combinations, providing a wealth of inspiration.

About the author

Neal French has had a long and successful career in ceramics. After completing a postgraduate degree in Industrial Design at London’s Royal College of Art, he shared his knowledge through teaching and writing. He has written several books about ceramics and design, including The Potter’s Directory of Shape and Form. Neal has won numerous awards for his remarkable work, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Prize for Elegant Design.

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image