I added this book to my library of ceramics books a couple of weeks ago. It’s written in the form of a children’s book with beautiful collage images and is chock full of technical information. The Magic of Clay by Adalucia Quan covers a wide variety of topics: where clay comes from; the chemical make-up of clay; varieties of clay; potter’s tools; wedging; slip & oxides; the stages of clay; types of firings; pyrometric cones, etc… All the fundamental information that ceramic artists (students, amatuers and professionals alike) should know about.
The Magic of Clay would be great required reading for beginning and intermediate ceramics classes. It takes a lot of the technical information and puts it into a format that is easy to understand. For some, the talk about alumina and silica can be pretty dry and not very engaging. This book definitely makes learning about the chemical make-up of clay pretty interesting and will engage clay-geeks and non-clay geeks alike. (I self identify as a clay-geek.)