Pathfinder: Professional Crafts




How to Find Books in the WPCC Library

Photo of crafted clay potUse our library catalog, found at one of our catalog terminals near the library entrance or online here. If you are looking for materials about a particular topic, select “SU (Subject)” from the “Look for” drop-down menu and enter a keyword from your topic.  (If you are looking for a particular artist, type in his or her last name as a subject keyword). Try different keywords if your first search does not bring up any relevant results. You can also enter keywords into the Simple Search, selected from the search drop-down menu.

There is great value in browsing the shelf area where you have found a relevant book. Look in the section of the shelves marked “NK” and in “TT” to find books specifically about the professional crafts.


Selected Reference Books

  • Encyclopedia of American Folk Art (Ref. NK 805 .E6 2004)
    This is  a comprehensive, scholarly study of a most fascinating aspect of American history and culture. Generously illustrated with both black and white and full-color photos, this A-Z encyclopedia covers every aspect of American folk art, encompassing not only painting, but also sculpture, basketry, ceramics, quilts, furniture, toys, beadwork, and more, including both famous and lesser-known genres.
  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts  (Ref. NK 1370 .B93 2004)
    This publication covers thousands of years of decorative arts production throughout western and non-western culture. With over 1,000 entries, as well as hundreds drawn from the 34-volume Dictionary of Art, this topical collection is a valuable resource for those interested in the history, practice, and mechanics of the decorative arts.
  • The Design Encyclopedia  (Ref. NK 1370 .B93 2004)
    The Museum of Modern Art Design Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive design reference guide to date. This book covers the last 130 years in the history of the design of furniture, lighting, fabrics, ceramics, glassware, and metal ware. There are separate entries for designers and craftspeople, design studios, consortiums and partnerships, noteworthy manufacturers, significant historical periods and styles, and materials.
  •  A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques  (Ref. N 33 .M36)
    This dictionary of art terms and techniques is designed to appeal to anyone interested in the visual arts. The book’s coverage includes all forms of easel and mural paintings, drawing, sculpture, the graphic arts, ceramics, mosaics, gilding and enameling as well as related fields such as conservation and paint technology. Over 3200 definitions are included with materials defined in terms of composition, source, use and characteristic properties and processes and techniques defined in terms of their practical application and results. Entries on schools, styles and periods is also included.
  • Dictionary of Furniture (Ref. NK 2205 .D5 2000)
    The entire world history of furniture–the eras, styles, manufacturers, artisans, unique pieces, and definitions– blended together into one straightforward alphabetical arrangement. The entries provide clear, concise definitions, and descriptions are often accompanied by pen-and-ink line illustrations.


Where to Look for Periodical Articles

Thompson Gale Academic OneFile Database
(Requires a password or Library ID for remote access. Contact any member of the Library staff)

Academic OneFile is an excellent source for full-text articles. Start by searching for one or two keywords about your research topic in the advanced search, putting each one in a different search box. If your search retrieved too many articles, try narrowing your search by adding keywords. You might want to click the box that limits the search to full-text articles. Be aware that the way to the full text might involve a few steps. Just follow the links and ask a librarian if you cannot find the article.

(Requires a password or Library ID for remote access. Contact any member of the Library staff)

NCLIVE provides access to more than 60 databases. Some are general, covering a wide range of material, and some are subject-specific.

When searching for magazine and journal articles, choose the “Browse by Type” option to the left of the page. Next, choose the relevant database – Academic Search Premier or Master File Premier are recommended. Remember to always choose the “Full Text” option under “limit your results.”


WPCC Print Periodical Subscriptions

The library has a collection of several current periodicals in print. The following relate to the study of professional crafts  in particular:

  • American Association of Wood Turners Catalogsvarying years – back issues only
  • American Craft – 10 years + current
  • Art in America10 years + current, also available on NCLive
  • Art News10 years + current, also available on NCLive
  • Ceramics Monthlyfrom 1985, also available on NCLIVE
  • Clay TimesFrom 2002
  • Fine Woodworkingvarious issues from 1975 to 2008
  • Woodworkers’ Journal5 years + current, also available on NCLIVE


Where to Look on the Internet

NOTE: Extreme care must be taken when using sources off the World Wide Web for a research paper. Critically evaluate all the sites you are considering, looking for reputable authorship, a date of publication, and authority.

  • Ceramic Arts Daily
    The site provides techniques for ceramic artists and potters. Pottery making, clay art, and ceramic art information on recipes, supplies, tools, kilns, glazing, pottery wheels, ceramic tile, throwing clay and more.
    Woodworking Tips, Techniques, Tool Reviews, Plans and Supplies for Woodworkers.  All from the editors of three of the most respected woodworking magazines around: Woodsmith, ShopNotes, and Workbench.
  • Modern Studio Ceramics
    The site provides links to other potter’s works from around the world.
  • Art Pottery Favorite Links
    The site links the viewer to other collectors, museums, galleries and artists.

updated 4/29/14