Clay, Light and Water

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By Margaret O'Rorke

Light and water have a primordial appeal, but they also present many aesthetic, technical, and safety challenges to the growing numbers of ceramicists who want to combine these fascinating elements with the translucent quality of porcelain.  Over the past three decades, Margaret O'Rorke has met these challenges and produced a body of amazing installations, sculptures, lighting fixtures, and fountains.  In Clay, Light, and Water, O'Rorke shares her expertise in working with these fluid media.

Beginning with a brief history of early oil lamps, this book delves into the nature of the basic materials required to fashion porcelain, bone china, and earthenware light holders.  O'Rorke provides step-by-step instructions for each stage of construction, including throwing, shaping, firing, and wiring.  She addresses the importance of such factors as the source of clay and the space the finished piece will inhabit.  Because building ceramic light holders and fountains involves electricity and moving water, O'Rorke pays special attention to safety precautions.  She also gives advice on collaborating with electricians and other professionals.  Detailed instructions are paired with vivid photographs.  This inspirational handbook also includes discussions between O'Rorke and other leading potters and sculptors from Kentucky to Helsinki.

Ceramic artists and designers will find many useful and illuminating approaches in this unique full-color guide.  Clay, Light, and Water will encourage more craftspeople to make beautiful fusions of natural materials and technology that can be decorative, functional, or purely expressive.