Hans & Birgitte Börjeson - Denmark
Velimir Vukicevic - Serbia
Janet MacPherson - Canada
Nathalie Doyen - Belgium
Frauke Albert - Germany
Suvira McDonald - Australia
FORUM / EDUCATION / HISTORY
"Form Follows Failure" - Gustav Weiß - Art appreciation
EXHIBITIONS / EVENTS
Galerie ATELIER NO 4 - Sankt Wendel Germany
"Bembel-Experiment" - Höhr-Grenzhaen / Frankfurt Germany
Salzburg Ceramics Prize - Salzburg Austria
25 Years of the Keramikmuseum Berlin - Berlin Germany
Raval de l'Art - Roquetes, Tarragona Spain
Ceramic Portrait - Oldenburg Germany
CERAMIC ART - London UK
In the Passage of Time - Cathy Fleckstein - Kellinghusen Germany
NCECA- Providence USA
Woodfiring Conference - Guldagergaard Denmark
COLLECT - London UK
EXPONATE 2015 - Höhr-Grenzhausen Germany
CERAMICS & TRAVEL
Studying in Korea - Seoul Korea
Simcha Even-Chen - Evelyne Schoenmann Interview / Developing skills
DATES / Exhibitions / Galleries / Museums
Exhibition diary International
COURSES / SEMINARS / MARKETS International
PREVIEW / IMPRINT Information
PREVIEW / IMPRINT
|Birgitte and Hans Börjeson
The Art of Salting
The pottery that comes from Birgitte and Hans Börjesons workshop is stamped "Fulby" the name of the Zealand village where they have lived and worked since 1963. The name is a signal that there is no point asking which of them does what, or asking for a pot made by either one individually. They work closely together, whether they are developing ideas, finding solutions to technical and artistic problems or realizing a particular piece, although as a rule Hans deals with the most physically demanding throwing jobs and Birgitte with the decoration. Working together like this and calling the pottery after the place where it is produced is a practice with deep roots in the history of the craft. Ever since they met in one of England's richest pottery regions in Cornwall, where they both worked at Crowan Pottery with Harry and May Davis, they have been able to develop the best of this tradition even further.
Many people mainly associate Fulby pottery with salt-glazed stoneware. Although they also make dishes and bowls in porcelain with celadon glazes, it is in salt-glazing that they have made their mark most strongly and won most recognition, for example taking prizes at the First World Ceramic Biennale in Korea in 2001 and at Salzbrand in Koblenz in 2002. Salt-glazed pottery is easily recognized by its knobby surface, similar to the texture of orange peel. The technique was used in Höganäs, Sweden and in Germany from the fifteenth century on and is perhaps Germany's most important contribution to ceramic art. It quickly became popular in the production of utility ware, since salt-glazing is a relatively inexpensive way of getting a durable surface. When salt is thrown into a hot kiln, it reacts chemically with the quartz in the clay during the evaporation process, thus forming a glaze. Variations in colour and texture can be achieved by using clays with different compositions. You can also use slips, as Hans and Birgitte often do, to produce additional variations in colour.
Janet MacPherson has a small collection of plastic or rubber toy animals: mice, rabbits, small pigs, horses and many more.
Whilst she was working at the Zentrum für Keramik in Berlin, she bought an elephant. It was of the same proportions as the other creatures in her little herd, and after heading back to Canada from Berlin, it will be the basis for a new mould. After a plaster cast has been meticulously taken, the elephant will then become part of her library of animals - readily anthropomorphised alter egos.
On the basis of her decision to make her plaster moulds from commercially available figures, an abundance of choices and combinations follows for MacPherson. Once made, every choice - an elephant for example – is constantly reviewed and questioned. By experimentation, parts of her animals appear in new contexts and even lose their animal nature entirely. They metamorphose into figures reminiscent of the protagonists in animated movies, or tin toys, hybrids of humans and animals or weeping madonnas in flowing robes.
MacPherson's dainty animal figures are at once unsettling and fascinating. This effect is emphasised particularly by the juxtaposition of the delicate material porcelain and the act of cutting or tearing the cute little animals apart.
Through the precision of the cast, the texture and finest markings of the animals' fur is visible. Its three-dimensional quality is enhanced because no glaze is used. It is only small details like hands or feet that are covered with coloured glazed or lustres, often in red.
I like to model clay calmly and slowly. It is in this way, at this rhythm, that my concentration is at its best. My recent pieces are carried out with much precision and patience; with a lump of clay in my hands, I form a round shape, a sphere which I spread or flatten and in which I carve one, two or three gentle curves, shaped into shallow areas or into plump cheeks.
Next, in the way that stones in nature are covered with lichens or mosses, I cover my still-raw model with a multitude of ‘mini balls’ made from clay rolled between my fingers. Once they are in position, these small stoneware lozenges stained with metallic oxides are textured one by one with fine holes pricked with a needle. Occasionally, I enhance the surface with a diluted pigment or oxide. From a technical point of view, this is simple. But the trick is to maintain sensitivity while making repetitive movements.
The thing which really matters to me is the procedure: I have always worked calmly with clay, searching for tranquillity, but now I am looking further. The slow pace has become a process in itself. In this way, each day, during sessions of 2 to 6 hours, the rhythm of my work proves to be meditative, even hypnotic.
Assuming this slow motion is of great benefit to me. Very often, people who look at my ceramic sculptures say that they themselves become changed, moved, as though overwhelmed by what these pieces give off: the sensation of a time when one is cocooned, a dense and harmonious time, which our consumerist, competitive, hyperactive society, blinded by greed, tries to take away from us.
When Frauke Alber (b. 1962) launched into her career, all was well with the world of ceramics in Germany, it seemed to be "golden" ...
Frauke Alber's beginnings coincided with the zenith of what might be termed the "Golden Age" of German ceramics – a period that began in around 1960 and up to around 1990 unfurled what was known as "studio ceramics", assembled to form into large private collections and finding a place in museums.
Ceramics was booming. Galleries, museums and institutions were devoting themselves with some enthusiasm to this subject and a growing audience of collectors eagerly acquired these new distinctive, individually designed pieces. Art schools ran ceramics courses or set them up. And no less sought after than the ceramic products themselves was training to become a ceramist. When the generation of those born around 1960 took the field, aspirants found themselves faced with the problem of finding a place to study or train.
After graduating from school, Frauke Alber too travelled the length and breadth of Germany in search of an apprenticeship, which after much endeavour and good fortune, she found in Merzhausen near Freiburg im Breisgau, south western Germany, under potter Maria Philippi. Her apprenticeship from 1983 was demanding and meticulous but friendly. The indispensable gain from her training was that Frauke Alber learned the potter's trade from scratch. She qualified in 1985. At first, tableware was not an issue, only voluminous, sculptural forms as vessels, not without function but autonomous. She decided to apply for appropriate further education courses – she was accepted in Bremen, where just in that year, Fritz Vehring was appointed professor of ceramics.
| Cathy Fleckstein at the Keramikmuseum Kellinghusen
In Cathy Fleckstein, we meet one of the most distinctive ceramists in Germany. This summer, she turns 60, which is reason enough to take a closer look at the life and work of this major artist.
Background and training
Cathy Fleckstein was born in Molsheim, a small town in Alsace, in 1955. After graduating from secondary school, she studied German and Romance philology in Strasbourg and Kiel. In 1975, she enrolled to study ceramics under Johannes Gebhardt, head of ceramics at the Muthesius School, what was then the School of Arts and Crafts in Kiel. She had met a teacher who was to leave a lasting impression on her individuality as an artist.
Impressions and casts
In 1980, Cathy Fleckstein graduated from the Muthesius School. The subject of her final examination was Space and Plane. She found the source material for this in her spacious living and studio quarters situated in a neglected nineteenth century building, the Milchküche in Dahlmannstraße, Kiel.
Exhibition at Keramikmuseum Kellinghusen, Haupttraße 18
25548 Kellinghusen, Germany
Telefon: +49 (0)4822-376210
until 6 September 2015
Exhibition by local graduates
This year's graduates from the Fach-schule für Keramik (Ceramics Technical College) in Höhr-Grenzhausen are presenting the results of their courses in their graduation exhibition, Exponate 2015 ("Exhibits 2015").
The students' work is defined by a focus on the various ceramic core themes. The graduates' approach is individually creative and technically autonomous. The exhibits on shwo at this exhibition lead the visitor into an intensive dialogue with the whole breadth of the creative potential of contemporary ceramics.
Whereas Grit Uhlemann and Ursula Madré have dedicated their very different works to the field of surface treatment, Julia Saffer has developed new possibilities forthe making processes involved in ceramic sculpture. Ulla Litzinger and Julia Brümmer interpret their ideas in the field of vessel making in entirely different ways. Nathalie Pampuch has devoted herself to the special opportunities of production in series for various kinds of functional ware.
The exhibition Exponate 2015 opens on 17 July 2015 at 7 p.m. at the
Keramikmuseum Westerwald in Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany.
The exhibits subsequently go on show at the Kammerhofmuseum in
Gmunden am Traunsee, Austria, from 28 August 2015
My first encounter with Korea came when I met Kang-Hyo Lee in 1998 at the Eric Rihs gallery and pottery in Les Emibois, Switzerland. I was doing my ceramics apprenticeship at that time and had scarcely begun to work with clay. At his exhibition, the onggi master gave a personal demonstration of the production of onggis: in a dance with huge coils of clay, it took only one hour to produce a one-metre tall pot. Of course I was very much impressed, not only by the technique but by all the invisible things like the energy inherent in this dance and its whole charisma.
My second encounter with Korea came when I met Seung-Ho Yang in 2002, where I was doing a work experience in Switzerland and France. From him I learned about the beauty of natural and unsymmetrical forms and how they could "dance", and I also learned the proper way to drink Korean green tea.
I had never been to Korea at that time, but now it became my dream to discover the "The Land of the Morning Calm". The dream of actually going there came true in 2007 when I participated in the 2007 World Ceramic Biennale in Korea. I couldn't read anything but somehow I managed because Koreans are very helpful and greet tourists with a friendly smile. In the countryside, you find huge rice fields, mountains with pine trees and twisting pathways where Buddhist temples stand by the cliffs in timeless peace; you see tea plantations covering the hillsides and traditional houses with their slightly curving roofs and their warm floors. In the cities, tall buildings covered with neon advertising stretch up into the sky, and down below you get caught up in the hubbub of traffic and crowds of people rushing in all directions.
|In Studio with Simcha Even-Chen
Simcha is multi-talented: she is a ceramist and a scientist, she judges competitions and gives workshops, she exhibits periodically and she is also a mother and grandmother. Is that why she makes Balance in Motion so effortlessly?
Simcha, like many other ceramists, you only found your way to ceramics after first pursuing a different career. You were a scientist and you used to work in parallel in both professional fields. How did you manage to bring science and art together?
Parallel to my postdoctoral position at the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem, I started to attend evening classes to learn more about the craft of ceramics. But back then, I would never have imagined that ceramics would one day be my second career, even my principle occupation. Working in both worlds for years was becoming increasingly difficult though. It was hard work: science all day and ceramics in the evenings and at weekends. But at that time, I was not prepared to give up either. Eighteen months ago, the Hebrew University offered me the opportunity to run a new biotech start-up. This was very flattering, of course. But it would have meant giving up ceramics entirely. So I decided to follow my heart, to quit my job at the University after 22 years and to devote myself entirely to ceramics.