Tableware has occupied a special place in our kitchens and dining rooms for thousands of years, and continues to enchant us today. Ranging from the purely functional to the fine and delicate, the evolution of domestic pots tells us much about our changing tastes and habits, and the wider art and cultural movements that have influenced their decoration and forms.


Softcover | 160 Pages
Order code CA125 | ISBN 978-1-57498-330-2
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. . . as a resource for tableware makers, enthusiasts, or collectors, this will be a useful guide that looks good, keeps you thumbing the pages, and may make you consider the vast influences that have gone into giving your breakfast table its unique look . . . — Stuart Carey in Ceramic Review May/June 2013


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Changing times

Linda describes how our changing attitudes and habits in food preparation and service and the rituals of mealtimes lead to changes in the way tableware is used and produced. The way we eat now is less formal than during the previous century and a traditional matching dinner service might only be used on special occasions. This gives rise to new categories of tableware and new roles for familiar pieces. Besides formal dinnerware, there is a new category of ‘casual tableware’ for everyday use. We use mismatched pieces, combining mass-produced plates and bowls alongside handmade pottery, bringing art into a domestic setting. If you’re wondering what are the ‘right forms and decorations’ to use in your work, you’ll gain a better understanding of what’s current and gain an appreciation of the challenges you face in the studio.



Learning from the past

In Contemporary Tableware, Linda Bloomfield looks at the history of the pots on our tables, from China’s porcelain and the Chinese influence on Europe to modern influences of Scandinavian, American and Japanese design. She explores tableware, the tea ceremony, artists and designers, and more. As for Western influences, she explores English country pottery, medieval pots, slipware, tin glazes, and the pottery of the Industrial Revolution and contemporary studio potters. 



Pick the right process

There are many sources of inspiration for tableware design and Linda leads you through the process of what to consider for success. She covers design, types of clay, making methods, including mass production options if you have a successful idea that takes off. Tableware mass-produced can reach a much larger number or people than most handmade ware, so pieces must not only be well designed but also consider the manufacturing processes involved.




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A welcome resource

When it comes to types of tableware, Linda provides insights from talented artists who discuss their approaches to teapots, bowls, cups, saucers, mugs, jugs, plates, serving dishes and lidded pots. Through scores of images from dozens of artists, along with tips, techniques, history and design considerations, you’ll find Contemporary Tableware a welcome resource for developing your forms and adding an exciting touch to your table.




Table of Contents


Part 1: A Modern Approach to Tradition

1. Introduction
2. China
3. Japan
4. English country pottery
5. The Industrial revolution
6. Studio pottery
7. The Bauhaus influence
8. Scandinavia
9. America


Part 2: Design and Form
10. Making methods in contemporary design
11. Manufactured tableware
12. Teapots
13. Bowls
14. Cups, saucers and mugs
15. Jugs
16. Plates
17. Serving dishes
18. Lidded pots





About Linda Bloomfield

Linda Bloomfield BSc, PhD, originally trained as a materials scientist and worked as a scientific researcher. She now runs her own studio pottery business and sells her thrown tableware through shops and galleries across the UK and internationally. She is interested in glaze research and regularly writes articles for Ceramic Review. She has three children and lives in London.



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