What Makes a Potter (Hardcover)

Functional Pottery in America Today

By Janet Koplos

Schiffer Publishing, 9780764358111, 288pp.

Publication Date: October 28, 2019

List Price: 39.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Why are people still handmaking utilitarian pottery in the 21st century? Doesn't industrial production take care of all our storage and cooking and serving needs? Yet, in all corners of the US, pottery is being discovered, studied, developed, produced, sold, collected, used, displayed, preserved, and passed down. Answers to these questions are vividly realized in the words of potters themselves--funny, philosophical, intense, and inspiring life narratives captured by Janet Koplos, an award-winning art critic who has followed American studio ceramics for the last four decades. The depth and breadth of this book are unprecedented in American craft history. Fifty individuals or pairs of potters offer their experiences, their thoughts, and their lessons learned. When art is at home in the kitchen, dining room, or living room, as is the case with functional pottery, the impact on our lives can be profound.

About the Author

Janet Koplos is an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and a contributing editor to Art in America magazine. She is coauthor of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft and author of Contemporary Japanese Sculpture, among many other books, articles, and reviews.