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The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric…
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The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius

by Jan Greenberg

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This book focuses on George E. Ohr's life starting from childhood and goes into detail about his life. He is a bit eccentric and found love for making pottery when he bace an apprentice to Meyer. Throughout the book is a lot of pictures of his pottery (very interesting) as well as pictures from the late 1800s.
  CNealon | Dec 4, 2016 |
This book is about George E. Ohr and his journey into becoming an amazing potter and artist. Throughout his life he did not get as much recognition but years after his death his work has been sold for thousands of dollars.

There are lots of pictures of his pottery sprinkled throughout the book that make it interesting for children to see. The text is engaging and informative without being dry. There are even photos of George and his family. In the back of the book there is even more information about George's life. The theme of this book is to not give up your dreams.
  Lizjensen | Oct 31, 2016 |
Six levels of Bloom's Taxonomy Questions:

Remembering

When (what grade) did George Ohr stop going to school?

Understanding

Describe what is meant by Ohr being called the “Mad Potter”?

Applying

Think of a situation in the story, and tell me what you would have done? (i.e. Ohr moving back home with $26.80 in his pocket to start his own pottery business, or how he handled his house and workplace burning to the ground)

Analyzing

Distinguish between George Ohr’s early works of pottery and his later works of pottery.
My answer: George took to pottery like a natural, but his first works were more practical. His first works of pottery were souvenir items for tourists visiting Biloxi and items that people could use in their homes, i.e., pitchers, bowls, etc. Ohr’s later work was inspired by his time in New Orleans and his exposure to the idea of pottery being considered fine art. Ohr’s later works reflect this new change in attitude and although his pottery was not popular during his time, it has subsequently been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Personally, I am a huge fan and would love to own a piece of Ohr pottery.

Evaluating

What did you like best about Ohr’s story? Which of the pieces photographed in the book is your favorite and why?

Creating

Create a new ending for the story. (What if Ohr had been a famous potter during his time. Would that have changed the value of his pottery today?)


Cross-over content area: Fine Arts because of the obvious connection to pottery and George Ohr's work; Physics(Science) because you could talk and hopefully demonstrate how the matter that is the clay changes with the introduction of water and the revolution of the pottery wheel; Geology (Science) because you could talk about how clay is found all over the world and discover the different types of clay and where they are found, Chemistry (Science) because you could discuss how Ohr achieved the glazes on his pots through experimentation with lead, sand and other colorants.

Robert F. Sibert Award 2014 Honor Book

Titlewave indicates the interest level of this book between third and sixth grade with a reading level of 6.7. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
This vividly told biography about a mad potter who becomes most successful about one hundred years after his death may inspire children. Interesting in part because he predicted his own success, students will relate to his eccentricities and learn about history and ceramic making in the process. Primary source documents are used for illustrations. It also would be good for a lesson on media propaganda. ( )
  jnmwheels | Apr 3, 2016 |
Fascinating story of an artist before his time. Great read-aloud for younger students in art classes, as it gets into the finer aspects of creating pottery. ( )
  AmeliaHerring | Jan 22, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159643810X, Hardcover)

When George Ohr's trove of pottery was discovered in 1967, years after his death, his true genius was discovered with it. The world could finally see how unique this artist really was!
 
Born in 1856 in Biloxi, Mississippi, George grew up to the sounds of the civil war and political unrest. When he was 22, his boyhood friend introduced him to the pottery wheel. The lost young man suddenly found his calling.
 
"When I found the potter's wheel I felt it all over like a duck in water." 
 
He started creating strangely crafted pots and vases, expressing his creativity and personality through the ceramic sculptures. Eventually he had thousands at his fingertips. He took them to fairs and art shows, but nobody was buying these odd figures from this bizarre man. Eventually he retired, but not without hiding hundreds of his ceramics.
 
Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, authors of the award winning Ballet for Martha,  approach this colorful biography with a gentle and curious hand.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:46 -0400)

Illustrated with evocative historical photographs and over fifty color reproductions of his ceramics, The Mad Potter tells the extraordinary story of an eccentric American maverick who was determined to make his mark and who never stopped believing that even the unlikeliest dreams can come true.… (more)

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