Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum is a centuries-old firm that is seeing a steady decline in its sales of traditional earthenware. Over the past fifteen years the business has been rowing against the current by looking for links with designers and architects, and it is principally that recent history that is described in this book.
The building blocks of which it is constructed are in every respect its pages, a fairly consistent succession of a full page of text followed by a full-page image. Reading the picture captions is actively discouraged by placing them vertically in the inner margin in type that can hardly be any larger than 5pt. The placing of text and image to left and right alternates with each essay. The images connect past and present, the factory in Makkum with building facings installed as far afield as New York and Singapore. Ceramic tradition and innovation decorate the edges of the book block.
The panel spent some time wondering why the texts, despite their substantiality, seemed unable to lure them into reading them. Was it because bookworms, in spite of all the newspapers and magazines they may read, always expect the pages of their books to have margins? Even if the book does break down into a large number of short contributions that are usually not all read at a single sitting? Be that as it may, as an object and as a book to dip into this is a nice piece of work, a clear composition with a beginning, a middle and an end.