Yesterday I went with a group of booksellers to Edmund de Waal's studio for tea (he served the most delicious cakes) and a tour of the studio. He talked to us about The White Road: A Pilgrimage of Sorts, the book he has written about porcelain, coming out in September. And he made two pots for us while we stood handling the little lumps of slightly damp, almost floury porcelain clay he had given us, and marvelled: a bowl and a jar appeared, each of which sat briefly on the wheel glowing almost like a mirage before he wired it off and crumpled it back into a clump of porcelain clay. There is little more magical than watching someone make a bowl on a wheel - using, as he pointed out, nothing but clay, a small knife, a piece of wood and a length of wire. You can see him in the photo below - I am the headless person in the middle.
I am reading the book - a beautifully written and at times very funny account of his journey to discover many aspects of porcelain - the places where it began, the people who invented it, a journey of inspiration and obsession, the most wonderful book. If you liked The Hare with Amber Eyes you will almost certainly love this.