20 Feb 2011
Art Book Recommendation – 500 Raku
A good friend of mine, artist Irit Lepkin, have told me recently that one of her Raku ceramic sculptures has just been selected for a new book, “500 Raku – Bold Explorations of a Dynamic Ceramics Technique” (Ray Hemachandra, senior editor, Lark Crafts publishing, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, New York). Loving Irit’s artwork and the energy she has in promoting her work, combined with my natural curiosity and love for books, I wanted to see what it is all about.
So I got the book, which was just released to the public, and it is a delight, a beautiful addition to my grown collection of art books!
Raku was developed in Japan, since the 16th century, and was the traditional way to make tea bowls for the Japanese tea ceremony. The vessels were usually hand built, were fired in low temperatures, glazed with lead glazes; and removed from the kiln while still glowing hot.
The traditional process was adopted and enhanced by contemporary artists around the world. 500 Raku aims to show just that. The book features 500 pieces of artwork from all over the world. The book was juried by Jim Romberg, who has been working with Raku ceramics for more than 50 years:
A professor emeritus of ceramics and a studio artist, he exhibits and gives workshops on raku throughout the United States and Europe. Romberg is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics and a borad memeber of the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA).
I can imagine how hard it was to select the 500 pieces out of more the 2100 submissions. The more I explore the book, the more I get an appreciation for the vast imaginative, creative and technical diversity that this technique was evolved into, from the traditional tea sets. The book has everything – traditional and contemporary designed teapots and teacups, sculptures varied from classical to whimsical styles, conceptual pieces, wall decorations, abstract work and highly detailed ones. I actually put the book in a place I can browse it daily, because every time I open it, I find new treasures.
I tried to decide which of the artwork I love the most, but it is an impossible task. I LOVE many of them! So, instead, I scanned through the Contributing Artists list, and found all the Israeli artists. And their work varies as much as all other work in the book. The following are the Israeli artists presented in the book. I found their images on their respective websites. Some of the images here are not those presented in the book though:
Anderson, Ariella (Ein Ayala, Israel)
Even-Chen, Simcha (Rehovot, Israel)
Faktorowich, Sharon(Ramat Ef’al, Israel)
Gilad, Ruth (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Lepkin, Irit (Originally from Israel, now Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Moriah-Winik, Alma (Nehora, Israel)
Rieger, Martha(Tel Aviv, Israel)
Vaisgur, Sigal (Shoham, Israel)
Yudell, Mark (Pardes Hannah-Karkur, Israel)
I whole-heartedly recommand this book for all art lovers, ceramic lovers, ceramic artists who would like to get inspired, and just about anyone out there.
You can purchase this book on Amazon at “500 Raku – Bold Explorations of a Dynamic Ceramics Technique“
- Toronto Potters 15th Biennial Juried Exhibition
- Gardiner Museum’s From the Melting Pot into the Fire