This autobiography by Mike Dodd
is an exciting and interesting book, and is so very Mike Dodd. The
front fly-cover has a wonderful statement under one of Mike's classic
"I love the process of discovery, of letting go, of allowing one's aliveness its own unique play - it's fascinating to watch and to be absorbed by this relationship between disciplined technique and the free play of the heart"
- How many of us today have lost this magic I wonder? Not Mike for sure!
Mike describes his book - as 'not quite an autobiography, more a fat cv with interstitial commentary! It has chapters on all the stages of Mike's life to date, starting with school at Bryanston the book is a mixture of Mike's own chapters and published articles on different periods of his life by himself and others.
There are excellent photographs, both of Mike's various potteries, a great picture of him on the Oxfam motorbike in Peru and some rare pictures of some of his early work. This is complemented with over 50 pages towards the end of the book of his recent work. Full of suprises, in the section of images of recent work there is suddenly a page devoted to a paragraph by Michael Cardew from his book 'Pioneer Pottery' - addressing the issue co-operating and conforming with natural forces to achieve the best results rather than forcing a material to do what it is told! (not a good paraphrasing of the original, I am afraid - but you need to read the book to get that!)
There are articles about periods of Mike's life by Tanya Harrod from Ceramics Monthly, Paul Vincent for Studio Pottery magazine (now Ceramics in Society), an extract from Phil Rogers recent book on Ash Glazes, an article from Ceramique et du Verre by Simon Fletcher and David Whiting's article in Ceramic Review in May/June 2002 as well as articles previously published by Mike in Ceramic Review, Ceramics: Art and Perception and The Artists Newsletter - each of these form a chapter, complementing Mike's own chapters about his life.
This to me is an exceptional book about Mike's journey through life, it gives tremendous insight into what drives and has driven him to create some of the most exceptional pots around. It gives an excellent series of photographs of Mike's pots from the earliest to the most recent.
It also has a page on his strongly held beliefs about the environment and our treatment of other species and he reflects on our bemusing lack of respect for other forms of life. His arguments are rational and impossible to refute!
Yes, this is indeed an Autobiography of Sorts, it is truly a unique opportunity for an insight into Mike Dodd, man and potter. Every collector of contemporary studio pottery and every student of ceramics will gain a great deal from reading this book. Thank you Mike, I enjoyed the ride!
Publication Date: September 2004
Price: £27.00 plus post & packing
Detail: Illustrated - over 175 images (mostly colour), 204 pages, size: 29 x 22.5 cm.
Publisher: Canterton Books, Forest Ford, Brook, Hampshire SO43 7HF.
Copyright: Mike Dodd.
For more information:
Please contact the author by clicking on his name: Mike Dodd
To order now, contact Mike Dodd, Dove Workshops, Barton Road, Butleigh, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8TL. Telephone: 01458-850385 or
Please mention www.studiopottery.co.uk when contacting the author and publisher.