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Marajo: Ancient Ceramics from the Mouth of the Amazon Margaret Young-Sanchez Denver Art Museum 2 Revised edition

11th July 2013 History Books 18 Comments

Margaret Young-Sanchez is Chief Curator and Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of pre-Columbian Art at the Denver Art Museum. She curated the collections of pre-Columbian, African, Oceanic, and American Indian Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art for ten years, before moving to Denver in 1999. Dr. Young-Snchez earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in anthropology at Yale University and a doctorate in art history at Columbia University. Her exhibition Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca opened in Denver in 2004.

Denise Pahl Schaan, Professor of Archaeology, Universidade Federal do Pará, Brazil, has directed several archaeological projects on Marajó Island.

The Amazon Basin is now recognized as a cradle of cultural and technological innovation in the ancient Americas. It was there that the hemisphere’s earliest known ceramics (ca. 5000 b.c.) were produced. Located at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil, Marajó Island was home to one of the region’s most populous and sophisticated ancient societies (a.d. 300–1300). Island chiefdoms built impressive mounds to support multifamily longhouses, ceremonial spaces, and cemeteries, and constructed channels, dams, and weirs to trap huge quantities of fish as the annual floodwaters receded. Aquaculture, rather than agriculture, provided the primary source of subsistence for the Marajó people. Their beautifully decorated ceramics reveal the skill and artistry of Amazonian potters and the complexity of their cosmology.

Lavishly illustrated, this volume presents ceramics from the Denver Art Museum, Barbier-Mueller Museums of Geneva and Barcelona, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, and private collections. Included are boldly painted burial urns, delicately incised figures, intricately carved and painted jars, bowls, and plates, and unique circular ceramic stools. Margaret Young-Sánchez and Denise Pahl Schaan’s essays describe Marajó culture, ceramics, and funerary practices. Maps and photographs round out this important contribution to South American art history and archaeology.

Marajo: Ancient Ceramics from the Mouth of the Amazon

The Essential Guide to Mold Making & Slip Casting

It’s difficult to imagine how a self-published book could contain the hundreds of color photographs potter Martin uses to illustrate the very technical nature of mold making and slip casting. His three decades of studio experience stand behind this revised edition of his ultimate guide to the process of pouring liquid clay into a mold to shape a clay object—and ensure that the items, at least their size and dimensions, are identical. The book follows in logical detail all the need-to-know content, from tolls and materials to the different iterations of mold making as well as a troubleshooting guide. Steps are pictured in color, numbered, and captioned as companions to the narrative; occasional sidebars, lots of finished art ceramics, and five working artist portraits—Anne Kraus, Tom Spleth, Donna Polseno and Richard Hensley, and Richard Notkin—underscore the outcome of mastering these techniques. Plaster-mixing ratios, casting-slip recipes, and a glossary are appended. Jacobs, Barbara
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

For potters, mold making is invaluable because it allows them to slip-cast identical multiples of their workand this newly revised, now in color edition of Andrew Martins classic is the definitive guide to the craft. No other volume has shown the processes in such how-to detail. Its overflowing with hundreds of photos, key techniques, projects, master artist profiles, and troubleshooting tips. A thorough introduction addresses materials and tools, and presents Martins simple, unique template method for making clay prototypes. Create easy one-piece molds to make tiles, bowls, and platters, or multi-piece molds for more complex forms. An extensive overview covers slip formulation, while offering highly desired slip recipes for low-, mid-, and high-fire clay bodies. This will be the standard reference in every ceramists library.

The Essential Guide to Mold Making & Slip Casting (A Lark Ceramics Book)

  • 18 responses to "Marajo: Ancient Ceramics from the Mouth of the Amazon Margaret Young-Sanchez Denver Art Museum 2 Revised edition"

  • CharlesJ
    3:07 on July 11th, 2013
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    I thought this book was very well written. Multi-part molds are not exactly easy, but he explains it very well. I haven’t yet attempted all the concepts in the book, but learned so many neat tricks already that it’s already made itself very useful :)

  • Grisel Verela
    8:25 on July 11th, 2013
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    I already knew a bit about rubber mold making, this book rounded out my knowledge on making ceramic molds. I especially like the primer on the different clay and slip types.

  • Tamala Czapski
    9:21 on July 11th, 2013
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    This excellent book is an ambitious and extremely thorough survey of mold making and slip casting. In re-reading sections of the book, I regularly uncover additional information that is useful as I gain more experience. In other words, this book keeps on giving: the more experience you have with the techniques, the more you can learn from Andrew Martin guidance and examples. Great trouble-shooting sections.

    Randy Porter

  • Geoff Jackson
    13:05 on July 11th, 2013
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    I have read all the ceramic mold making books over the last 10 years. This book by Andrew Martin was, by far, the best I’ve read. Good explanations, plenty of pictures on how-to’s. I first saw Andrew at NCECA doing demos with his molds. I really liked what was coming out of them. If you want to further your ceramic experiences with molds, this is the book to get.

  • dick pincus
    18:12 on July 11th, 2013
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    I have been doing ceramics for over 20 years, and I still learned things from this book. Excellent pictures to show what is involved. I would reccommend this book to everyone!

  • Brad Howard
    21:40 on July 11th, 2013
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    Andrew Martin’s “The Essential Guide to Mold Making & Slip Casting” is simply THE definitive book on the process of making molds. The first edition was a challange to the beginner, but this new edition with many photos of every step really helps bring the art of mold making to every skill level. I use this book in the studio and refer to it all of the time.

  • Scott Austin
    23:19 on July 11th, 2013
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    This book, which I bought twice by mistake! Is a bit hard to follow. I will try this winter to follow the directions and see what happens! I am very excited to see if it works so I can start replicating some original artwork!

  • neonspark
    2:06 on July 12th, 2013
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    This is an essential for anyone interested in mold making & producing molds from pieces you have made & would like to duplicate in uniformity.

    It also has good examples & photos to explain the process. I would have liked more on the area of the clay bodies used in casting and the unique properties and problems you may encounter vs. the properties of the plaster to make the molds. As references go, this is a probably the best I’ve read & would highly recommend it for anyone interested in casting.

  • Jyoti Kumar
    5:42 on July 12th, 2013
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    This book is well written and shows very good photos. Mold making can be hard and very messy so having a clear idea of what you are going to be doing is important. Andrew Martin shows you step by step how to approach mold making beginning with very simple molds through to complex molds. Lots of lovely inspiring photos from master artists. This is a great book for any ceramics library.

  • Jay Ace
    10:53 on July 12th, 2013
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    I had to get this book for a college ceramics course. It is great. It has everything I need for making molds. A definite must have for anyone in ceramics.

  • Tommy Boy
    11:23 on July 12th, 2013
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    A good book: helpful and inspiring! Excellent photos for step-by-step guidance, if one is patient enough to learn this. Suddenly slipcasting takes on a whole new creative aspect in my mind.

  • Danny Crane
    14:52 on July 12th, 2013
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    The book answered my questions and helped me to decide to give this art form a chance. I’m having a blast. The book is really good.

  • Major
    18:39 on July 12th, 2013
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    In preparation for teaching mold making at Utah State University, I purchased 4 different mold-making books. After careful examination I decided that Andrew Martin’s book is the one I’ll use as my text for the class. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is trying to learn to make molds without a base knowledge in clay and plaster, but, as a text book in an intermediate to advanced setting, this book is the one to use.

  • Erp user
    20:15 on July 12th, 2013
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    does a fine job with simple molds. I was hoping for a more advanced text on more complicated 3 and 4 piece molds.

  • Lourie Kalhorn
    0:28 on July 13th, 2013
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    The Essential Guide to Mold Making & Slip Casting (A Lark Ceramics Book)
    I did not expect such a hard book to follow. This book is not for green beginners. Terminology not explained and I found the photos unreconizable.

  • Prayer?
    2:28 on July 13th, 2013
    Reply to comment

    Finally, a mold making and casting book, as usual, the photos are well done, there is a great deal more information than I expected and the instructions are clear. Lots of inspirational examples of other artists work. This was well worth the wait.

  • Brian Prentice
    5:27 on July 13th, 2013
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    The book was more basic than I expected. It is good for beginners and a useful guide for teachers.

  • Peter Phillips
    14:18 on July 13th, 2013
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    Andrew partnered with Lark Books to completely redo the original version of this book. They made a great team and this updated book should be in the library of every serious ceramicist. All the copies at the Kansas City Art Institute are well-worn and we are proud that Andrew is a graduate of the KCAI Ceramics Department.

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