The rise of ceramics is slowly happening again. Perhaps neglected for a period or marginalized by the crafty/DIY movement of the 90s, ceramics is beginning to be treated as the serious, storied medium it is, and that’s partially impart to folks like Adam Silverman.
Silverman has had a varied life, finding major success as the co-founder of X-Large and X-Girl clothing labels in the 90s, and then in 2008 becoming the LA Studio Director for Heath Ceramics, a 62 year old California maker of dinnerware and tile. These two fields are about as disparate as you can get, but it shows Silverman’s true character, which is that of a creative that can defy limitations.
In September, Skira Rizzoli released a new book which showcases the work of Silverman and his unique take on the medium, simply titled Ceramics.
Adam Silverman is the face of a new generation of artists focused on ceramics and pottery, a medium that has not had major presence in the contemporary art world for many years. Incorporating traditional pottery techniques with his own experimental approach, Silverman creates works that are sensual, gritty, and beautiful. He uses unique glazes to give his pieces abstract lacy or gestural surfaces. Silverman has exhibited extensively and has a large, growing audience in the United States as well as in Japan, where his work is collected by Tadao Ando and Takashi Murakami, among many others. A breathtaking and informative overview of his work, Adam Silverman Ceramics is a landmark volume for all who appreciate ceramics, design, and modern sculpture as well as contemporary art.
As a special treat, I’ve been given a discount code when you order from the Heath Ceramics website which will give you 30% off the book. Not bad right? Simply use the code below and you’re all set.
When a bestselling philosopher tells you that art is the most important thing in culture today, you’d best listen up. But which philosopher would ever make such a bold statement? Alain de Botton. I’ve been a fan of his writing for years now, but his most recent project is quickly becoming a favorite. Art As Therapy asks (and answers) the question “why art?” Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend a lecture delivered by Botton at NYC’s Cooper Union, where he talked about his new book (co-written with fellow philosopher and art historian, John Armstrong). This book happens to fit into a larger scheme of Botton’s, which when coupled together, has the potential to shake-up your conceptions of viewing art.
It’s always a pleasure when two passions of mine come together in one. This time: cycling and design. Carter Wong of London, a reputable design studio, have recently released A Cycling Lexicon, which features a curated collection of bicycle head badges (the little emblems that adorn the front of your ride). It’s a pocket-sized book far too large to fit in your pocket; the hundreds of shields contained within will aid in garnering admiration for not only cycling, but this unique area of design too.
I was reading this interview with Clive Thompson in the NY Times last night and he’s got a new book out called “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better.” The book touches upon the idea that technology isn’t making you dumb, it’s actually supplementing the way our brains already work.
You talk a lot about memory in your book. Are we augmenting our memories with computers, or are we replacing them?
I would say we are augmenting them. When I started the book I was genuinely worried that I was losing my memory to Google, but the more I studied the way that everyday memory works, the more I realized how much we already rely on other outside sources — books, Post-it notes, etc. — but also other people to remember things. We are social thinkers, and we are also social rememberers, we use our co-workers, our partners and our friends to help us retrieve the details about things that they they are better at remembering than we are. And they’ve used us in the same way. Memory has always been social. Now we’re using search engines and computers to augment our memories, too.
The interview was good enough to get me to purchase the book, really looking forward to reading this. And how great is that cover? Simple but effective.
These days I’ve found that bookshops have become my galleries and art museums. I’ll frequently visit old vintage book stores and high-street chains just to wander through their shelves and soak up all the cover art. They say “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but if you ask me, there’s few things more enjoyable then walking through a book store and guessing what lies just behind that striking image on the front.
One cover artist who has recently caught my eye is Chris Silas Neal. Based in Brooklyn, Chris has worked on a variety of projects over the years including posters, packaging, advertising, television and magazine work, but it’s his book covers that I think I love the most.
Anton Van Hertbruggen is a hugely talented illustrator from Belgium. Last year he released a stunning concertina book called Memories of a Suburban Utopia and the second I saw it I knew I had to own it. Depicting a surreal modern suburb, Anton’s book is unlike anything I’ve seen before and his images look even more fantastic when printed in this scrolling concertina format.
“In a world of monotonous horror there could be no salvation in wild dreaming.”
Richard Matheson passed away Sunday. We lost a good one. The 1958 Hugo Award winner might be one of the few people in the world to find such success in books, television, and film. At thirty-seven years old he released his first story in the long running Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he moved to California in 1951 and took to writing short stories and books.
It’s felt like, in the last 10 years or so, that we’ve seen a renaissance in book cover design. You can easily blame the rise of electronic books for this shift. The print medium is on a decline so it’s important that a book on a bookshelf looks it’s absolutely finest to grab our always distracted attention. A perfect example of this is Sam Weber’s cover for Tor’s version of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.
Owen Gent is freelance illustrator based in Cornwall, England. He recently graduated from University College Falmouth and one of his degree show pieces was a beautiful handbound book based on the 16th century Irish folk ballad of Molly Bawn. The ballad tells the tale of a man who goes out hunting for birds and spots something in the bushes. Thinking it’s a swan, he shoots but to his horror discovers that he has killed his true love Molly Bawn.
It probably looked strange to the other folks lined up to meet David Sedaris that I was holding a glossy photo of Billie Holiday. I was happy about it because David Sedaris singing in the style of Billie Holiday is the funniest thing in the world. But that world got cloudy and sad when someone who looked important and official approached me to say, “Oh, he won’t sign that, it’s not his work.” I folded the picture in half and put it in the back of the paperback I brought for him to sign. I was waiting in line to meet him for the first time, even though I’ve been reading Sedaris’ books since I saw Naked on my mom’s bookshelf and she told me I was too young to read it. He’s also been on This American Life more than any other contributor I can think of. His newest book is called Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls and it’s… well… a hoot.