Staff Picks: Inspired by the Masters

February 14, 2013, 15:45 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Before my days at Lark, I was still a fan of the 500s series–what potter isn’t? So I was excited when Lark broke the mold in 2008 and came out with a new gallery book for ceramic artists called Masters: Porcelain.

At the time, porcelain was a clay body I had never used–my studio only fired to cone 6 and white stoneware was white enough for me. However, after spending time with Masters: Porcelain it was undeniable that porcelain changes the tone of functional work. Leah Leitson’s ewers and Aysha Peltz’s vases showed that the clay affects the work beyond just the surface (but still, look at that surface!)

Above: “Three Faced Vases” by Aysha Peltz

Richard Burkett did a tremendous job curating the 40 artists and hundreds of images for the book. But the Masters books go beyond the images, offering insights from the artists on their work and the medium. It may seem like a small difference from the 500 series, but it adds a layer of interest beyond the standard gallery of images.

Masters: Earthenware came out two years later in 2010. Similar to porcelain, it covers 38 artists’ signature pieces with commentary. Curated by Matthias Ostermann, a celebrated ceramist in his own right, this stunning volume did anything but pale in the face of porcelain. From Linda Arbuckle’s majolica to the burnt reds of Woody Hughes, it is captivating page after page.

Both books are part of Lark’s spring Book Love sale. You can find them by clicking the links in the article above or right here:

-Masters: Porcelain

-Masters: Earthenware





The gallery books in the Masters series always are on my list of “Editor’s Picks.” The books in the series each feature approximately 40 artists, selected in conjunction with an expert curator. Photos of each artist’s work are showcased on four consecutive spreads–eight pages–with an introduction from the curator and thought-provoking quotes from the artists interspersed throughout.

To celebrate this beautiful ongoing series, I’m pleased to offer a special giveaway of a bundle of four Lark Jewelry & Beading Masters series books. The books are Masters: Gold, curated by Marthe Le Van; Masters: Beadweaving, curated by Carol Wilcox Wells; Masters: Gemstones, curated by Alan Revere; and Masters: Glass Beads, curated by Larry Scott. To be entered for a chance to win this outstanding, inspiring collection, leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m EST on Tuesday, August 10. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday, August 13. Click here for the official rules.

Any comment will do, but if you’d like please let us know what other subjects you want to see fleshed out with a master survey in this series. I’m pleased to report that Masters: Polymer Clay is an upcoming (Spring 2011) publication, and a non-Jewelry & Beading title, Masters: Blown Glass, is due out in just a few weeks. Among the other titles already available in this gorgeous series: Masters: Earthenware, Masters: Porcelain, Masters: Woodturning, Masters: Collage, and Masters: Art Quilts, Volume 1.

Connect with us on the Lark Jewelry & Beading Facebook page and you’ll see regular updates about our blog, including news, interviews, videos, and more great giveaways. Now, please leave a comment on this post, and good luck!


If you don’t own any of Lark’s acclaimed ceramics books yet, this is your chance to win four standout releases. To be entered for a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post by 9 pm EST on Tuesday, September 28th. Any post counts, but we’d love to hear about your most prized piece of ceramics. Is it a raku vase from a local artist? A goblet you were given as a housewarming present? Or maybe it’s a sculpture from a family member. Either way, we’d like to hear about it and why it means so much to you. We’ll announce the randomly chosen winner on October 5th. See the official rules and regulations here.

Be the first to own 500 Vases before it’s even available in stores! (For everyone else, you can pick up your copy on  October 5th or pre-order here.) The vases in this survey are far more than utilitarian objects; in this spectacular collection you’ll find works that challenge and enchant. As juror/potter Julia Galloway points out “the best vases transcend service and stand on their own as art.” Get ready to look at the vase in a whole new light with these extraordinary pieces of art. Front cover art by Priscilla Hollingsworth.

From freestanding objects to large-scale instillations, the works in 500 Ceramic Sculptures show the exciting diversity of ceramic art. Juror Glen R. Brown carefully honed this collection from over 7,500 submissions—a difficult task indeed—but what you’ll find is the best of the best of contemporary ceramic sculpture. Front cover art by Jeff Kaller.

Masters Porcelain showcases the work of 40 leading sculptors and potters using porcelain today. It’s a fascinating snapshot of porcelain’s unique expressive and technical qualities, and offers a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of the featured artists. Curated by ceramist Richard Burkett, this is the first book in the Masters series, and the perfect book to start with for your very own growing Masters library. Front cover art by Sergei Isupov, Keisuke Mizuno, Silvie Granatelli, Harlan House, and Richard Shaw.

According to AmericanStyle magazine, flipping through the pages of Masters: Earthenware is like exploring a fine art gallery. Handpicked by the late ceramist Matthias Ostermann, 38 international ceramic artists are profiled with galleries of their spectacular work, and as with each and every Masters book, you’ll find insightful quotes from the artists interspersed throughout the images. Front cover art by Phyllis Kloda, Joan Takayama-Ogawa, and Holly Walker.

Now, go polish up your coffee table and clear some space—these books demand to be admired, poured over, and deliciously savored. Good luck to all who enter!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Simone for leaving the winning comment, as determined by a drawing at random.org. Enjoy!