Different, yet friends – made in Zurich/Rapperswil/Switzerland – both commited to their personal expression and growth as artists.
Excited to be partaking in a group exhibition sale at the gallery Kulturparkett in Rapperswil, Switzerland. Dates: 8-10 December 2017. I will be selling unique jewelry, objects and special small blue bowls made for the occasion! Please contact me for enquiries.
I come from the sea, the sea!
Porcelain object, 30x30x10cm, gold and 3 glazes
Porcelain square art object 30x30x10 cm, 3 glazes and gold, 3 firings.
Gold accents highlight the cracks where light breaks the water. Childhood memories of touching and probing strange things and textures in rock pools when we were on holiday in South Africa, where I grew up. I remember the fascination, the fear and excitement of discovering this other world. My nostrils flaring at the smell and the danger of the vast ocean!
For more information about this art object please contact me.
Last week I presented my jewelry at a Craft Market in Zurich, organised by the Zurich International Women’s Association. Two of the works I was able to pack up at home and present them personally to my clients. Porcelain and silver jewelry for a strong entry! Do you feel spring too? Would you like to be informed about my jewelry creations?
Looking at Alberto’s ceramic work inevitably makes me smile inwardly as I love the way he shows the wild pressing force of nature through cement-like cracks, blocks or circles, always finding a way into the light – breathing and living. He wants to draw the onlooker’s attention to the fragility of nature which is threatened by manˋs greed and destruction. I see how nature still finds its way to live in spite of atrocious circumstances.
Words by Thich Nhat Hanh come to my mind: What we most need to do is to hear within us the sound of the Earth crying.
This artist is making a name for himself internationally by taking part in competitions and exhibitions. He feels a lack of recognition in Spain for ceramics as a recognised art form. He works with stoneware and porcelain and the colouring is mostly done with pigments.
Alberto loves the mountains and being in nature. In his small studio beside a street in Spain he works on his well-planned creations. He has just recently taught a successful master class in Nimes in Belgium and his next master class is planned for November in Seville in Spain.
I look forward to working with him November 2017, when he comes to Basel in Switzerland to teach. He has a website, but says he is much more active on Facebook where he has a big following. He likes to engage with his followers and regularly publishes photos of his works. You can also find images of his fabulous work on Pinterest, where he shows how he packs his smallish kiln and builds up his work.
I thank Alberto for letting me write this small article on him and look forward to getting to know him better next year. The Swiss mountains will no doubt inspire him with plenty of fresh air and many breathtaking views!
My next article will be about my upcoming event on 11 December 2016, a date worth saving!
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
by Khalil Gibran – The Prophet
(Or make beautiful art, or taste subtle flavours!)
Vase with underglaze stencil patterns 7,5×7,5cm
Contact me for details or questions.
After a morning rehearsal, my singing colleague Caroline Fuss and I sit down and have lunch together in Zürich. It is a hot summer day and we casually start talking about her art.
Born near Paris, she had always been fascinated by the world of painting. Only as recently as 2006 did she made the conscious decision to take the first step towards becoming a visual artist. Gradually, this has become a natural and essential way of expressing herself. Everything she sees and perceives now feeds her need to paint.
To Caroline, painting is not only about spreading colours on a canvas. She digests all she sees, feels and memorizes in slow conscious and subconscious processes. She needs this element to be able to feel completely free in front of a canvas. After her initial explorations she decided to stop using images and photos for her work, but rather wanted her subconscious to unfold itself with its rich reservoir of images, colours, emotions and impressions. When beginning a new picture, she has a vague direction in mind. Layer after layer this direction becomes clearer. Meanwhile she keeps an open mind about the outcome. She works daily in her studio, so she can feel an intimacy, a fusion between herself and her art work.
Painting in series is her preference as only then she can feed her obsession with a topic. Currently, she has developed three series: Salzburg, Zürich and Self-portraits. This allows her to go further and further into her sensations, memories and subconscious; as well as to develop her painting techniques.
Caroline’s favoured mediums are oil and acrylic. She often uses her hands and whole body to create the movement she wants. She paints on medium to large-scale canvasses. She especially likes the soft, tactile sensation of oil paint – building layer on layer, creating depth and dimension.
Artists Caroline is inspired by:
1) Zao Wou-ki – for his lyrical abstract art and his use of oils
2) Anselm Kiefer – for his multi-layered, large-scale works and his installations
3) Les Fauves – a group of artists, especially Kees van Dongen, for his strong, pure colour expression
She is inspired by following techniques: construction, deconstruction and fusion.
Caroline’s challenge is to achieve recognition and excellence. She strives to connect deeply with the observer’s emotions and intellect.
Next exhibition: American Women’s club – Höschgasse 38, 8008 Zürich from 3 January – 26 February 2017.
Visit her website
You know you love handmade porcelain – the feel, the aesthetic quality, the translucency. Nonetheless, you may still wonder if it’s the right choice for your own table. Below I discuss five considerations that are fundamental for when you are looking at dinnerware.
Food-safe & lead-free
You need to make sure that the glazes used on handmade dinnerware are food-safe and lead-free. Some acids in food and detergents are able to dissolve micro particles out of any (also machine produced) glaze. With mass-produced, machine-made dinnerware, you cannot be sure that the glazes used are non-toxic, unless this is specifically stated.
I make a point of using food-safe and lead-free underglazes and glazes for the plates, bowls and cups I produce. When working with the wet porcelain I see to it that it does not land in the water waste and that emissions during firing are minimized. When placing an order with me, you are making a healthy, environmentally friendly choice.
Real value for the price
Of course, you won’t be surprised that hand-crafted is a bit more expensive than mass-produced dinnerware, as hand-crafted items usually are – but keep in mind that you are also investing in art and durability! You are investing in your relationship with a potter, who is able to transform ideas and wishes into beautiful physical shapes which have practical value – an investment wisely made!
Dishwasher and oven safe
Yes! With the high-firing process (1250-1280 Celsius) the pores in the porcelain close (vitrify) and do not take in water anymore. The glaze acts like glass and makes cleaning super easy. It is also safe to use in the fridge!
Beautifully handcrafted pieces
Different “imperfect” components often shape the most beautiful natural forms.
Our perception of a beautiful perfect plate has been schooled by the industry. It made dinnerware accessible to the masses – even having more than one set became very desirable. Today we experience a tendency in our homes to declutter and simplify. It has become important to have less, but better quality. Holding that special plate in your hands or eating fruit salad out of a hand-snuggling bowl has personal value and creates a connection with the artist which we often miss in our busy, disconnected lives. Lisa believes that taste is enhanced by the colour and shape of a handmade vessel.
“Beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart inflamed and a soul enchanted” – The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
The essence of the potter remains
Can the aura of the potter survive the deadly flames? This is my favourite topic! An idea or impulse takes shape through the hands of the potter, interacting with the porcelain or clay. Personal energy is transmitted into the porcelain and the porcelain transmits its origins onto the potter. The two together start their dance of creation, moving forward and going back, giving in and pushing out, expanding and contracting. That this energy stays even through two firings is a miracle!
I challenge you to hold a handmade cup in your hands, close your eyes and feel the energy in the shape. Does it correspond with your energy? Or is it just an empty cup?
Every note I sing is ethereal and disappears into spirit, unless I record it. My spirit however, is recorded in every porcelain object I make!
At Lisa’s Porcelain, I incorporate the following principles when making my handmade dinnerware: health care and environmental friendliness, cost and value, practical use, aesthetic appeal and spiritual content.
All the dinnerware on this page has been sold. You are welcome to contact me for general enquiries or about a commission you would like to place.
In 1996 I bought 8 antique (about 80 years old) Japanese stencils at a flea-market in Zurich. At the time I wasn’t sure what I had bought, but I knew it was very special! I started experimenting on paper with different kinds of paint, using the most incomplete, broken stencil. Later I visited as small exhibition in Staefa, near Zurich. There I learnt how the Katagami were traditionally used in Japan to dye and colour silk and cotton for example for making kimonos, obis, yukatas, haoris (jackets worn over kimonos) and kincyaku (handbags).
Use of Ise Katagami
A special paste was made, the main ingredients being rice flour and pigments. Every master had his own recipe and method for applying this paste on the stencils. Usually cutting the stencils and colouring the fabrics were the work of two different people as they were very different areas of discipline. The paste had to have the right consistency; too thin would run under the stencil and too thick would not go into the fine gaps and lines. By using an additional wax technique, certain coloured elements were covered, so that the next layer of colour could be applied. This way many layers and colours were brought onto the fabric. On most Katagami stencils there are four corners marked with small circles; these can be shifted and put over the last two and in this way the pattern can be repeated endlessly – genial!
Visit to Japan
In May 2015, my husband and I visited a small Katagami museum in Tokyo. What a lovely experience! We met the delightful director and owner of the Kioi Art Gallery, Ms. Atsuyo Kajiura. She gave us a tour of the current exhibition and also showed us two videos portraying the 5 masters left, who live in Ise and still produce these exquisite works of art, each in his or her unique style. The cutting of specially prepared paper requires very precise tools and techniques. The coordination between hand and eyes has to be highly trained and exact to create these wonderful patterns – the artist always having to cut out the negative shape and at the same time keep the aesthetic pattern in mind.
This handmade paper is made of mulberry tree pulp and treated with green persimmon juice to make it water-resistant, so that when used, the colour paste does not colour the stencil, but only goes into the cutout spaces. Then the sheets are dried in the sun and thereafter smoked, hanging in a smoke house, for one to two weeks. Thereafter the process is repeated with the juice and smoke. Such precision and care are unimaginable in the West today! An exception being food, I am thinking of Parma ham (smile).
Philip Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) collected many Katagami and brought them to Europe and this had a very direct influence on the Art Nuevo, Art Deco and Japonism styles.
My wish is to bring some of these patterns onto fine porcelain, reflecting this precious, intricate tradition in a modern medium. So watch this space!
I came across Jong-min Lee’s porcelain art very recently on Facebook. Instantly, I was filled with awe and wonder looking at the images of his work. The shapes and curves of his appealing objects seem perfect in balance and proportion. The white porcelain conveys a strong tranquil spiritual quality. Jong-min, a practicing Buddhist, plays with light and shadow by varying the angles he cuts. The observer sees different movements, depending on how light falls and the onlooker’s proximity.
His interesting carving patterns mimic different wave shapes and formations found in nature, which is his source of inspiration. He experiences directly and is influenced by the four distinctive seasons at his studio in Anseong, Korea. There he goes through meditative, transformative and creative processes carving his observations into the walls of his objects. An enormous amount of focus and patience is needed for this skill. Furthermore, his passion to create the extraordinary, help him struggle – always pushing his limits in his 10 hour working day!
He carves up to five times when the porcelain is bone-dry and uses strong, sharp, dental tools. He then proceeds to clean-up after which the objects go into the first firing called the flower of life. About 5 objects fill his kiln at a time. After the first firing they are dipped very quickly into clear, transparent glaze. Then another clean-up follows and into the kiln they go a second time. He has an exact burning curve he follows and has a success rate of 70 percent. Jong-min fires in a gas kiln and the reduction firing process produces a stunning white, slightly blue note.
Jong-min does not recycle his porcelain which is cut off while throwing, trimming or carving. He has to do this to avoid getting iron in his clay body. His objects stay purely white, producing the perfect canvases he needs for his carvings.
I heard via the grapevine (a birdy singing) that Jong-min might be exhibiting in Switzerland in the near future. That would be fantastic!
For more information about this inspiring artist and his works, please visit his web-site
I would like to thank Jong-min Lee for his permission to use his images and information and am very happy to be in contact with him as I am a great admirer of his works.