Ceramic Art London starts today till Sunday at the Royal College of Art. On show and for sale is contemporary ceramic from national and international potters.
And keeping with the subject, Edmund De Waal, a leading British ceramics artist has recently wrote a fascinating book about his family, following 264 Japanese netsuke (small wood and ivory carvings of people, animals and plants) which are owned by his ancestors, through time and countries. The Hare with the Amber Eyes is a memoir, a biography in a way, a travel and history book about a Jewish family in exile and a thing book, as the Guardian puts it. De Waal brings to life the things around us. One can nearly feel and seem to touch the objects he describes - the art of pottery, put in writing!
After a few more and more elaborate editions of this book including a luxurious illustrated version there now also exists an 'enhanced digital edition' (on ibook). Does it add a new layer? I am not sure since the original was not meant as an ebook to start with. I think digital storytelling might be considered a new literary genre altogether, simple adaptations might add a few more interactive layers, but not all books can or should profit from such enhancement. Reading De Waal's comment about the illustrated edition
It feels, I hope, like a book that you want to pick up, an object to be held. I hope there is an intimacy about it, a lack of grand-standing.
I do have difficulties warming to the slick and glossy iPad edition.