Pathfinder: Professional Crafts



How to Find Books in the WPCC Library

Clip art of a piece of potteryUse 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

IMPORTANT: If you want to access these resources off campus, you will use the same username and password  you use to log in to any campus computer.

Thompson Gale Academic OneFile Database

Academic OneFile provides access to citations, abstracts, and full text articles relating to a wide variety of disciplines, including the study of professional crafts.


NCLIVE provides access to more than 60 databases. Some are general, covering a wide range of material, and some are subject-specific. A few good places to begin your search are:

  • Proquest Arts & Humanities
  • SIRS Renaissance


These databases contain full-text articles on many topics, including professional crafts, from several thousand magazines and journals.


WPCC Print Periodical Subscriptions

Photo of two pieces of wood being held together by a clampThe 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 Catalogs – varying years – back issues only
  • Art in America – 10 years + current, also available on NCLive
  • Art News – 10 years + current, also available on NCLive
  • Clay Times – From 2002
  • Fine Woodworking – various issues from 1975 to 2008
  • Woodworkers’ Journal – 5 years + current, also available on NCLIVE


Recommended Websites

  • 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.


updated 10/2017

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