At the recent workshop at Peters Valley Craft Center, there were comments from some participants that they hadn’t often thought about design when it came to putting surface on pots. One of my favorite books for looking and thinking about design changes is architect Brent Brolin’s small book The Designer’s Eye: Problem-Solving in Architectural Design. Mr. Brolin has also written the excellent Flight of Fancy: the Banishment and Return of Ornament, which was re-published under a title I felt less useful: Architectural Ornament: Banishment and Return. It’s a great book about ornament, not just buildings.
As a fun fact, Mr. Brolin’s mother-in-law was Eva Zeisel, the remarkable designer.
The Designer’s Eye would not have been possible before digital image manipulation. A building detail is shown in 2 different versions, and a brief comment below remarks on how the change influences the way the building is seen. This is from a section on openings, and he conveniently shows another example of a teapot with an asymmetric opening. Basically, it’s a picture book with comments. The comments are often observational, rather than judgemental: not THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY, but that A gives a different visual effect than B, and you can see what works best for your own design goals. A way to practice visual sensitivity; good for your own works and for looking at other’s works for critique. Brilliant. Someone should do design make-overs with pottery. Click the image below to go to Amazon and pick up a copy if this interests you. Inexpensive used copies available when I looked. I think it’s a great look book.