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Issue 3/2015


Carolyn Genders / UK
Bettina Kocak / Germany
Gökhan Taskin / Turkey / Netherlands
Péter Ujházi / Hungary
Bernd Fischer / Germany
Elke Eder-Eich / Germany
Roswitha Geyer / Austria
Joko Miki / Japan
Bibi Krieg / Belgium

Bioceramology: Ceramics is "Bio" - Gustav Weiß Art Criticism

Karen Müller at the Porzellanikon - Selb Germany
ICSIS - Innsbruck Österreich
International Ceramics Conclave 2014 - Dehli  India
Pink Porcelain - Düsseldorf  Germany
Jade Treasure - Lonquang China

BOOKS New books

Red flames over Thurnau – kiln building  Developing skills

Palma Babos – Evelyne Schoenmann  Interview / Developing skills

Exhibition Diary





Carolyn Genders

From the moment I touched clay - the clay from the ditch at the bottom of my parents’ garden when a child - I felt a connection; a feeling, a twitching of my fingers, an urge to squeeze and form the clay. I fell in love!
Today, I still have the same feeling of anticipation as I untwist the tie of the clay bag and see the soft buttery white earthenware.
I am a handbuilder, predominantly a coiler. I love the calm peacefulness of coiling, the inescapable rhythm; rolling the coils on the table; the slow rotation as I gently push the turntable round; the movement round the piece as my fingers attach the coils, and later, when the roughed out form is firmer, the methodical rhythm of the scrapers, smoothing and caressing the form, slowly revealing the honed shape as I scrape off excess clay.
Surface however, is another matter. I have the heart of a painter, but my canvas is not flat and two dimensional, but three dimensional in form.
Early work was concerned with pattern – pattern and colour, how pattern can change the visual perception of shape as it weaves around my forms; simple classical coiled vessels.
Now my preoccupations are form and surface together, how they interact; creating harmony or exaggerating the discord between form and surface, flattening the form, emphasising movement and rhythm with the painterly marks and brushstrokes. Pattern is left behind.

M. Gökhan Taskin

(Johan van Loon)
In contrast to their apparent simplicity, two elements of a picture form a complex composition. This individual pieces are made of composite forms that through their soft colour shades draw attention to their various parts and the way they are connected. Sometimes the structure seems open, sometimes closed.
The ceramic sculptures of M. Gökhan Taskin refer to architecture and landscape. Ironically, he refers to landscape in general as ‘lines scratched on natural surfaces’. In his home town of Ankara, Turkey, he is fascinated by the alternating contrasts of urban chaos and order, and in particular by the abrupt transitions between the two extremes. This led him to becoming interested in the history of architecture, which is reflected in his work. This ranges from the reconstruction of a Corinthian capital, the analysis of a Gothic cathedral or  Baroque facade to the deconstructivist structures of an urban landscape. While he was in Germany and later in the Netherlands too, he was able to compare the urban and landscape qualities of central Europe with those of Turkey. The expression of this comparison can clearly be seen in his works.
He understands architecture as space. Besides the literal meaning of architecture as the art of building - the art and theory of the planning and execution of building, like the textbooks say - architecture also has a figural and constructive meaning for him. For instance, an anatomical structure, the structure of the skeleton, the muscles and sinews, but also typographical structures, the way in which a sign such as a letter is constructed.

Bernd Fischer

(Walter H. Lokau)
In Europe, people long pursued the idea that art, beauty, perfection could be framed in rules. The attempt to codify what was perceived as beautiful was called aesthetics; people believed that it was possible to deduce eternal laws of beauty from what was felt to be beautiful that were thus teachable in terms of subject matter, composition and technique. But his undertaking proved to be in vain: as long as art has been free in the western world, experience of art has paradoxically proved the precise opposite. Successful art can never be the rule, it is the exception. Although it may be subject to rules, it can nevertheless not be produced or explained starting from rules. It transcends any regulations or programmes, it evades them, it remains an unhoped-for unique and isolated occurrence, quite simply something special. And even if it can be imitated by the crafts: this unpredictable singularity, which remains enigmatic and miraculous, resists comprehension at the point of its creation, no matter how much interpretation, exegesis and contextualisation is thrown at it. With the onset of Modernism, the project of formulating general rules of aesthetics was abandoned. Modernism in art may work with traditional forms, techniques and genres but the element of tradition was henceforth no more than optional. It determines artistic actions to a far lesser extent than it opens up a vague area of possibilities, with which incremental successions of decisions that react to each other can be taken, whose results are not clear in advance.

Elke Eder-Eich

(Wolfgang Lösche)
"Portable Garden" is the title of a large, imposing lidded box by Elke Eder-Eich. It grows upwards from a flourishing three-dimensional meadow. The walls are encompassed by golden strips and green foliage, the domed lid is decorated by colourful flowers and butterflies. The handle is formed by a precisely curvied, forked green shoot that seems to be sprouting forth from the jar. A fluted, golden handle arches over the vessel, placing the main accent on the unity and coherence of the form..
Portable Garden is an individual piece made in stoneware by ceramic artist Elke Eder-Eich from Niederkassel. It demonstrates with what precision in form and with what pleasure in decor she makes her ceramics. She thus continues a tradition in the long history of a ceramic genre that is marked by designing sumptuous tableware and which in past centuries was brought to perfection in faience and porcelain factories.
Elke Eder-Eich creates her work in the 21st century for different reasons. It is not a love of ostentation behind it but the desire to tell her own stories and to express her own feelings and ideas in ceramics. Impressions from nature, interiors, wallpaper or the furnishings of previous eras seem visible.

Exhibition at the Porzellanikon in Hohenberg

Karen Müller
(Gisela Geiger)
"Looking forward and looking back" – Is a retrospective a possible theme when the question is ‘Ceramics today’? Karen Müller’s work is indebted to Modernism; it deserved to be called ‘classical’. Can a classic be contemporary?
What can be seen in the exhibition? Thin-walled, thrown bowls with a diameter of 60 cm and more; figures, sculptures that demand to be viewed by the observer at eye level and, in their impressive physicallity, appeal to one’s own body image. This is not what one normally thinks of when talking about work in porcelain. The diminutive is inappropriate here (à propos ‘figu-rines’). Size and a generous scale are characteristic of the work of Karen Müller, made over a span of almost forty years. Many pieces are free standing at the Porzellanikon Museum in Hohenberg; glass display cases cannot cope with them.
With bowls and figures, two groups of work are not standing unconnectedly side by side, but instead Karen Müller has committed herself to carving out the possibilities of this special, stubborn, autonomous material, hard paste porcelain in all its variations. Of course there is a fundamental technical difference inasmuch as the bowls are made on the wheel and the figures are handbuilt. In particular, the surface of the bowls differs considerably from that of the figures.
Exhibition at the Porzellanikon in Hohenberg
The closing ceremony of the retrospective is on
28 June 2015 from 3 - 5 p.m. A catalogue and a film have been released for the exhibition.

Internationales Keramik Symposium Innsbruck-Tirol

(Helene Kirchmair and Gabriela Nepo-Stieldorf)
IKSIT (International Ceramics Symposium in Innsbruck, Tyrol) took place in 2014 for the 4th time, as always with range of top-drawer ceramists from all over the world participatingin an EU cultural programme. In 2014, the participants were: Simcha Even-Chen / Israel, Michaela Falkensteiner / Austria,  Sibylle von Halem / Germany and Austria, Tatjana Kovacevic-Vidovic / Bosnia, Ute Lehmann / Austria, Elisabeth Melkonyan / Austria, Gabriela Nepo-Stieldorf / Austria, Heide Nonnenmacher / Germany, Rafa Pérez / Spain, Cristina Popescu Russu / Romania, Katharina Schmidinger / Austria.
As a special innovation, a joint presentation of the two symposia, Gmunden and IKSIT, took place at the Hofburg in Innsbruck. It was an exciting major challenge to present a successful, harmonious exhibition of all the different works in the spaces at the Hofburg. The work on show had been made in Gmunden in 2013 and the IKSIT participants brought the finished pieces with them. Subsequently, the IKSIT exhibition opened at the Kammerhof Museum in Gmunden for the Austrian Pottery Market. Work was on show here that the artists had brought with them or that had been produced at IKSIT in 2014.

Jade Treasure:Chinese celadons from Longquan / China

(Anette Mertens)
In 2015, China at Work is once again conducting an exchange and exhibition programme with ceramics and artists from China, specifically with celadon masters and their pupils from Longquan.
In the 06/2007 edition of New Ceramics, I expressed my admiration of Mao Zhengcong’s work, for his unique celadons. At the end of the text, my wish was stated to perhaps organise an exhibition or presentation of these delicate, pure celadons in Germany or France. I have long desired to make the high quality of traditional Chinese ceramics as well as its living tradition come alive in our country. Much water has flowed under the bridge since 2007 – time that with the high pressure growth has left a deeper impression in China. Since then I have been in Longquan once or twice a year and have introduced many European ceramists to the home of celadon and to its masters.
Jade-Schatz (Jade Treasure)
Chinese Celadon from Longquan from 6-16 June 2015 in Berlin Venue: Forum Factory, Besselstraße 13-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany
Opening:  6 June 2015 from 4 p.m.
Between the opening and closing ceremonies of the exhibitions, the ceramists are on the road, e.g. Sat 14 June 2015 at 2 p.m. in Schloss Villa Ludwigshöhe, Edenkoben, Rheinstraße for an illustrated talk on: Celadon - An Ancient Glaze Newly Appreciated.

Red Flames over Thurnau

(Heike Schwandt, Wolfgang Knapp and Gerhard Trommler)
The Töpfermuseum Thurnau is offering workshops and seminars with the new wood kiln
From the embers, fanning new flames for the craft of pottery” – master potter Wolfgang Knapp could hardly have found a more poetic turn of phrase for the project, Woodfired Kiln in Thurnau, with which the tradition of pottery going back to the 14th century has been further enriched since the spring of last year with a piece of old craft tradition. In a seminar in early April last year, Knapp and his colleague Gerhard Trommler together with a group of twelve people including ceramists, apprentices, students and teachers from the Keramikfachschule in Landshut constructed a downdraft woodfired kiln with a Bourry box following the construction principles of Steve Harrison from Australia. Right after construction, the kiln was fired at the reopening of the refurbished Töpfermuseum for the first time.
A kiln of this kind and the related seminars and workshops are a perfect fit for the new concept of a lively, active museum. Right from the start, the project was supported by the community – everyone from the mayor to the staff at the municipal builders’ yard.

Top Copyright Verlag Neue Keramik 2007