Handbook introduces the world of ceramics

There is currently a tremendous enthusiasm for making things by hand. The Finnish language Keramiikan käsikirja (The Ceramics Handbook) reveals the secrets of clay and introduces the techniques of making ceramics to everyone interested in ceramics.
On a table there are tools for plaster modelling
Tools for plaster modelling (image: Anne Kinnunen)

The Ceramics Handbook guides the reader to working with clay through texts, images, illustrations, animations, and videos. The handbook has been designed in such a way that you can browse the material and begin reading from any section that is the most relevant for you. The comprehensive handbook also offers current information that can be self-studied: in addition to the basics, the book offers in-depth and specialized information about the material.

The Ceramics Handbook is an open online book for everyone interested in ceramics and its production. The book, however, is not only aimed at internal use at Aalto University but the writers wanted to make it available for everyone interested in the field, because there is a tremendous enthusiasm for making things by hand. With the help of the book, they also want to support and encourage lifelong learning for students, teachers, designers, and artists – everyone interested in ceramics, from beginners to professionals.

Read Keramiikan käsikirja 

Priska Falin: AistiMuksia (osa tutkimusta). Kuva: Anne Kinnunen
Priska Falin: AistiMuksia (part of research). Image: Anne Kinnunen

A group of ceramics experts are behind the continuously updated book

In recent years, Aalto University’s Department of Design has been developing several online materials for the use of university students and faculty. The Ceramics Handbook being one of them, the first phase of the development began already in 2021 as part of the Aalto Online Learning project at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

The writers collected feedback after the first phase of the handbook was completed. The project continued in 2022, led by teacher Sanna Palmu, where they developed the book’s content and structure further based on the feedback. “There is a large group of experts whom we can thank for the completion of this huge work”, says lecturer Nathalie Lautenbacher.

Now The Ceramics Handbook is an open website, which contains about 70 chapters and 200 pages, which are updated with new information constantly. Such a comprehensive Finnish language database on the subject has never before been available online.

Person holding papers which have pages from the handbook
Excerpts from the handbook. Image: Nathalie Lautenbacher

Several of Aalto University’s ceramics experts have participated in the production of the book, each of whom have brought their own signature style to the book. Airi Hortling, a retired lecturer from the University of Art and Design, has been an invaluable part of the book, using her expertise in ceramic material science to fact check the work.

” Many thanks for this updated book belong to Airi Hortling. Without Airi’s help, huge amount of knowledge and expertise, it would not have been possible to update the handbook to this extent” says Sanna Palmu, who was responsible for the updated version of the book.

Contributors to the book: Jaana Brinck, Tomi Pelkonen, Nathalie Lautenbacher, Eeva Jokinen, Priska Falin, Saija Halko, Mimi McPartlan, Aura Latva-Somppi, Karen Visuri, Erin Turkoglu, Camilo Cortes and Nikolo Kerimov.  Many thanks also go to the following for their help and expertise: Antti Huittinen, Aba Luostarinen, Riitta Talonpoika, Päivi Takala ja Jari Vesterinen.

The Ceramics Handbook working group:
Sanna Palmu
Nathalie Lautenbacher
Tomi Pelkonen

Read Keramiikan käsikirja 

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