Transitions of a Still Life: Ceramic Work of Tam Irving.


128 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-1-895636-83-3
DDC 738.092





Reviewed by Tanya Rogoschewsky

Tanya Rogoschewsky is a librarian at Red Deer College in Red Deer,


This informative and beautiful book by Carol E. Meyer exploring the life and work of Canadian ceramic artist Tam Irving would be welcome addition to any library, especially one with a strong visual arts collection.


Meyer’s impressive research allows the reader to examine the artist’s work in relation to the changing social context of the ceramic arts scene and Irving’s personal and professional life, showing the influences of both renowned artists like Henry Moore and more personal mentors like New Zealand artist Harry Davis on Irving’s work. The inclusion of personal anecdotes and photographs contribute to the readability of the book. Organized both chronologically and thematically, the book has plenty to interest both serious researchers and those that just want to casually sample. The striking photographs show the evolution of Irving’s art as he continues to push himself out of his aesthetic comfort zone, experimenting with form, colour, material, and scale. Particularly intriguing are Irving’s still life ceramic pieces from 1994–2006, which blur the lines between sculpture and drawing. The inclusion in this book of original sketches alongside photographs of the completed pieces allows the reader to see the progression of work from idea to finished product.


Spanning almost 30 years, this book is a fitting testament to the creativity of this important Canadian artist.


Mayer, Carol E., “Transitions of a Still Life: Ceramic Work of Tam Irving.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,