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Visual Arts Teacher Resource Handbook.

Both new and experienced teachers at all levels of art education will find this publication to be of professional interest and practical value. One of a series of resource publications for different curriculum areas, this book brings together a wealth of practical information, along with a sampling of curricular theory. A concise, one-stop source for basic information and ideas on art teaching and art programs in one low-priced volume, this book meets a need not addressed by other publishers.

Fourteen chapters on various aspects of curriculum development and implementation are authored by a number of respected art educators. These include Trends and Issues in Visual Arts Education Curriculum by Judith Burton; Implementing the Curriculum by John A. Michael; Integration with Other Subjects by George Szekely; and State-Level Curriculum Guidelines: An Analysis by Robert Saunders. Other chapters provide discussions and annotated listings of resources by David W. Baker, Ken Marantz, Myrna Packard, Barbara Herberholz and Donald Herberholz. Assessment in Art Education is addressed by Jerry W. Morris and Ralph Raunft.

Other worthwhile features include an index listing hundreds of recent book reviews in art and art education. Other appendices reprint curriculum guide material and other information of interest to art teachers. While there are some indications of hurried assembly, the amount of information and the reasonable price combine to make this a priority purchase for art educators involved in curriculum development work, and a valuable resource for all art teachers. Call 1800) 223-8323 for ordering information.


A visit to any bookstore presents a large array of books on craft areas. if one moves quickly beyond the how-to shelves, an intriguing assortment of profusely illustrated volumes addressing various craft media, cultural forms and technique/process areas confronts the potential purchaser. Here are four brief reviews of just such publications worthy of consideration for your personal or school library.

NAVAJO WEAVING: THREE CENTURIES OF CHANGE. Kate Peck Kent. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1985. Illustrated, 150 pp., paperback, $16.95.

While not a very recent publication, this book remains one of the most informative about the history of Navajo weaving, loom forms and processes, and the types of textiles resulting from trade with Spanish-Americans, Mexicans and Anglo-Americans. Twenty-four color plates and eighty black-and-white illustrations include historic pueblo photographs, drawings of looms, warping techniques and weaving patterns. Based on a study of the collection at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, the combination of textile images and information, along with multicultural insights, makes this a valuable resource to fiber teachers, students and craftspersons.


Ronald Larsen, Editor. Rochester, NY: Park Street Press, 1992. Illustrated, 192 pp., paperback, $16.95.

A Potter's Companion is a wonderful collection of writings about the pleasures and problems of the potter's craft. It consists of forty-eight short essays, poems, process suggestions and philosophical statements interspersed with delightful and insightful quotes about clay by the likes of John Updike, Herbert Read, John Ruskin and Shoji Hamada. Essays include: "A Potter's Philosophy" by Marguerite Wildenhain, "Illusions of Reality" by Jamake Highwater and "Criticism in Ceramics" by Warren MacKenzie. Forty-eight, black-and-white illustrations of classics by master potters including Leach, MacKenzie, Maria Martinez and Lucy M. Lewis add to the book's richness. The title of another essay, "Use and Contemplation" by Octavio Paz, is a fitting epithet for this highly recommended volume.

WORLD CRAFTS. Jacqueline Herald. Asheville, NC: Lark Books (Distributed by Sterling Publishing Co., New York), 1993. Illustrated, 192 pp., hardcover, $35.00.

An overview of contemporary crafts from the non-western world, this book describes the artisans, their diverse cultures, their techniques and materials. Most of all, it celebrates the remarkable objects created in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Three hundred color photographs of artisans at work and their creative output, provide the reader with a heightened sense of how these crafts have undergone a transition from their practical and ritualistic beginnings, to craft production as a means of livelihood. Most of the photos border on the spectacular, providing both aesthetic and multicultural rewards for the reader. World Crafts is worth acquiring as a visual source book in programs for middle school and upward.

SCULPTING CLAY. Leon Nigrosh. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications, Inc., 1992. Illustrated, 182pp., hardcover, $24.95.

The author of the popular technically oriented book, Claywork, turns his attention to the sculptural aspects of clay in his newest book, Sculpting Clay. While his emphasis has shifted to a "fine art" area, the topics dealt with are further testimony to the lack of definitive separation between craft and art. There are many illustrations--mostly in black and white, with a handsome eight-page color insert included. Although a majority of these focus on sculptural objects and processes, many pots are also included. The text presents important information about ceramic processes such as handforming, wheel-throwing, surface treatments, glazes and other finishes, moldmaking, raku, reduction firing and other kiln procedures. A chapter titled Which Clay provides helpful information on clay bodies, colored clays, clay testing and reclaiming procedures. A comprehensive glossary of ceramic terms along with appendices on glaze recipes, clay bodies, a list of suppliers and pyrometric cone information make this book an important resource for ceramic practitioners working in pottery and/or sculpture.


The videotape is an especially effective way to communicate and illustrate a wide variety of techniques related to the arts and crafts. it is in the crafts area that the how-to program excels. The following videos are examples of the large number of such programs that are now on the market.

KNITTING, MULTI-COLOR TECHNIQUES FOR HAND-KNITTERS. Victorian Video Productions, P. O. Box 1540, Colfax, CA 95 713. VHS form a t, 117minutes $39.95.

Conceived as a course, this videotape instructs the viewer how to knit with several colors of yarn at once. it illustrates processes similar to those found in patterns by modern designers and ethnic knitters. This program assumes the viewer has basic knitting skills--knit, purl, increase, decrease--and is familiar with knitting terminology and pattern reading. It is appropriate for intermediate and advanced knitters who need information on how to work faster and produce smoother looking multicolor fabrics. It illustrates time-saving techniques and tricks which include knotless add-ons, avoiding holes by means of half-twists, two and one handed stranding, and ways to weave long floats and short ends into the backs of stitches as they are worked.

BEAD WOVEN NECKLACES: LOOM BEADING TECHNIQUES. Victorian Video Productions, P. O. Box 1540, Colfax, CA 95713. VHS format, 82 minutes, $39.95.

This program explains and illustrates loom-work techniques that lead the viewer toward the creation of unique and provocative necklaces. A starter design and tips on constructing a simple frame on which to work are also included. The tape also discusses beads, needles, threads and the equipment needed to create bead-woven necklaces. Recommended for use at the upper elementary through high school levels.

PAUL SOLDNER: THROWN AND ALTERED CLAY. Crystal Productions, P. O. Box 2159, Glenview, Il 60025. (800) 255-8629. VHS formats, 37 minutes, $39.95.

This is somewhat of a retrospective of the work of Paul Soldner, who introduced American-style raku and changed the course of contemporary ceramics. It traces the evolution of his work over forty years from functional thrown stoneware to nonfunctional raku sculptural forms and cast bronze pieces. It shows more than fifty examples of the artist's work, including pivotal pieces that set new directions. Segments of the artist in his studio throwing and altering clay, assembling the sculpture, glazing and firing the piece, and revealing how he creates his work are interwoven throughout.

HOW TO LOAD AND FIRE YOUR CERAMIC KILN. Paragon Industries, Inc., 2011 South Town East Blvd., Mesquite, Texas 75149-1122. (214) 288-7557. VHS format, 43 minutes, $20.00.

This videotape is the next best thing to having a ceramic specialist beside you as you prepare your kiln for firing. It shows you how to assemble a stand and set up a kiln, where to locate it and how to fire it safely. Obviously produced to promote Paragon kilns, the tape has relevance for any kiln or setting. After illustrating basic firing techniques, the tape explains the importance of venting and shows how to keep your ware dust free. The various concerns related to firing controls are dealt with in sections that can be self contained, making the tape efficient to use. This video is recommended for art programs at all levels.
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Baker, David
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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