Contemporary Ceramics

Emmanuel Cooper

A worldwide survey of innovative work, ranging from makers of functional ceramic objects such as teapots and tableware to those who explore the possibilities of clay as an artistic medium.

Over the last decade the narrowing of the gulf that traditionally existed between the realms of fine art and craft has resulted in a shift in perception of what ceramics can be and can mean. All areas of ceramic practice have been revitalized as a result—the creative possibilities that artists, lured by the plastic and tactile qualities of clay, have brought with them into ceramics have influenced ceramists of all backgrounds.

Analyzing work from the last ten years, this book covers every aspect of contemporary ceramic practice and includes work of all sizes—from a few inches to large-scale installations. It is organized
into five main chapters:

  • Beyond Utility: original yet functional ceramics
  • Defining Space: wheel-thrown shapes, slip-cast forms, and hand-built structures
  • Mind the Gap: sculptural work from precise and mechanical to freely modeled forms
  • A Sense of Space: installations, both site-specific and environmental
  • The Line of Beauty: collaborations between art and industry that result from advances in technology

Contemporary Ceramics also includes biographies of the featured ceramists and a directory of museums and galleries.


A comprehensive guide for collectors and artists alike.

— American Style


Emmanuel Cooper


Emmanuel Cooper is a practicing ceramist, writer, and critic. He is the editor of Ceramic Review and Visiting Professor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, London.