In this book Peter Lane has compiled a superb collection of outstanding photographs of contemporary ceramics. And, drawing on his background as an artist, teacher, writer, and technician, he also discusses clay works and clay artists. His intent, he writes, ''is to present a rich and varied selection of visual material, representative . . . of some of the many approaches to the use of ceramic materials currently employed by a variety of craftsmen in the Western world.''
Although English ceramics predominate, Lane also includes the work of some European, North American, and Australasian clay artists.
The book is well suited to the collector. The inclusion of such masters as Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, and others allows such a reader to study quality work and learn to differentiate among the masters and their many imitators.
This volume is also useful for those interested in looking at well-crafted pots and gaining some general knowledge about how they are made as well as the thought processes, influences, and techniques that go into the craft.
As an American potter, I find it disconcerting to see a full-page photo of Rudio Audio at work in his studio and another full-page photo of an Audio pot, and then to discover that he is mentioned in only one sentence - along with four other American master potters. Why wasn't there at least a paragraph on Audio's influence on American ceramics? In fairness to Lane, however, I have to add that Paul Soldner, the master American potter who spurred the popularization of the ancient Japanese technique of raku, a dark-glazed earthenware of the 15th and 16 th centuries, in North America and Europe, was handled quite well.
Lane's obvious love for his craft has resulted in a fine picture book which focuses on some of the best ceramics available today.