Design and idea:
The appearance of my objects reveals the source of my inspirations: nature. From its multitude of shapes and colours I get most of my inspirations. I am especially fascinated by all things weathered, beaten by the elements.
They spur me on to imitate the elements.
In the same fashion as each element leaves its characteristic traces I want also to leave my traces on the objects I create. I am burning my objects with the element fire, wich also leaves distinctive traces.
My comprehension of art, of what is pleasant, had a large influence by the African arts. The aesthetic sense common in Africa, which is so different from our western culture, has a great impact on my comprehension of colour and shape.
Traveling the Republic of South Africa for three months had the deepest influence on my life. Nature, landscapes ( the most ancient ground surfaces), stones, rocks, the animals, plants and people left a permanent impression.
My experiences in South Africa have encouraged me to continue in the direction I had taken in my private life as well as a ceramist.
Creating the shape:
During my apprenticeship I discovered, that forming utility ware was not what I intended to be the center of my ceramic works.
To realize my experiences in ceramic objects I have to be able to use clay mass and throwing techniques accordingly. The basis of my artistic activities is the thorough knowledge of the craft.
The most important part is the throwing on the wheel.
During the throwing process I try to allow the clay mass maximum latitude to form its own character.
I think the process is similar to sculpturing. The way a statue emerges from the material following its characteristics, e.g. of a tree trunk.
Compared to an electric kiln, firing an anagama is more difficult, more elaborate and often more frustrating. The heat spread is inconsistent throughout the kiln, and the flames draft uncontrollable.
The application of glass on the objects is irregular, the side pointing to the flames accumulates more flying ashes, resulting in thicker glass layers, as the opposing side. In some cases such a mass of glass is accumulated , that when liquid, it starts to run off.In that way eyes, tears and noses are formed.
Are the objects in the ashes the surface gets crusted, rough, often with crystals.
The difficult circumstances of firing an anagama result in objects with unique, irreproducible surface and looks. Truly unique specimens.
It takes a lot of experience to use the full potential of an anagama.
Rainhard Löber once told me that after firing his woodfired kiln a hundred times he now starts to know it.
The anagama supports my efforts to create objects looking as if formed by the elements. Objects that distinctly stand out from mass production and industrial produced ceramics. They give you a sense of uniqueness that reflects their creational process as well as the surroundings they were made in.
Time and again , as I try to rival the elements, I reach the limits of ceramic mass or kiln. There are still a lot of trials to further this road.
Edges are important to me, not only on my anagama objects.
I intrust the anagama with my raw objects. After 6 days of firing and 14 days of cooling it gives them back to me.
So I´m but part of the process.
My objects are like seeds or seedlings planted into the kiln. After adding energy the anagama gives birth.
Diversity is freedom