Rückblick und Vorschau / Up to Now and Beyond

Es ist ja kaum zu glauben wie nachlässig ich die letzten Monate beim Blogschreiben war – und das trotz aller guten Vorsätze. Aber wie ihr wisst werf ich die immer wieder ganz gerne über den Haufen. Vor allem, wenn es Spannendes zu tun gibt. Und davon boten mir die Wochen in Schottland jede Menge: Klippen schauen. Fisch essen. Keramik unterrichten. Ton recyclen. Brennöfen einräumen – programmieren – warten – ausräumen. Rakubrände wagen. Gruben graben, mit Treibholz und Meisterstücken füllen und in Brand setzen. Am Strand Ton finden und gleich verarbeiten. Viel Wein und G&T trinken. Bei Angus Open Studios mithelfen. Kochen. Tee trinken. Auf einer Ceilidh tanzen. Yoga. Schlafen. Mehr Yoga. Was für ein Leben! Und weil die drei Wochen Italien, die auf meinen Schottlandaufenthalt folgten, so gar nicht mit meinen keramischen Abenteuern im Norden mithalten konnten, belasse ichs jetzt auch beim Schwärmen von Kelten, kaltem Wind und heißen Brennöfen, und liefer euch nur noch ein paar Bilder.

I am a bit embarrassed about how long it has taken me to sit down and write this blog post. After sticking to it so diligently throughout my journeys to Japan and Italy, I completely lost track when I went up north to work at Fran’s studio in Scotland. My long vacation from wordpress was partly due to a lack of discipline on my side. But mostly, I think, due to a wonderful personality trait of Fran’s that I have come to call “Franning” (short for: “Fran-time planning”). In only 7 weeks at her beautiful place in Arbroath, Angus, I was offered innumerable opportunities to expand my knowledge of ceramics (particularly in low-firing techniques), learn about Scottish culture, and meet loads of interesting people. In short, I was simply too busy to spend time in front of my computer screen. And Fran, even though I complained frequently about our ridiculously crammed timetable, I do love your tendency toward double-booking. I love that there was so much cliff-viewing and walking, eating in and out, teaching ceramics, reclaiming clay, packing, firing and unloading kilns, firing raku kilns, digging for clay, digging pits, cooking, dancing at ceilidhs, yoga and drinking G&Ts (or wine) going on that it did not even occur to me to write a blog post. Thank you!

And to tell you the truth, the three weeks I spent as an assistant in Italy after getting back from Scotland could not even remotely compare with my ceramic adventures in that exciting place of celts and cold winds. Which is why I will skip those and will now proceed to showing you a few pictures of the pieces I made while living and learning with Fran.

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Finding red clay at a local beach.
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Testing the plasticity of the clay we found.
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Pinch pots right then and there.
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Naked-raku bowl on driftwood. For naked-raku firings, crackle glaze is applied on top of a barrier slip. Where both glaze and barrier slip have been scratched through, the clay carbonizes during the reduction phase right after the firing. Once cooled down, the glaze and barrier slip come off the pot and reveal a design on raw clay.
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Naked-raku pot.
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Raku-fired bud vase.
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Raku-fired urchin vase.
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My “Holy Bowl” and its shadow.
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Smoke-fired bowl on driftwood. If you look closely, you may be able to see the imprint of a leaf.
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Digging a pit at Lunan Bay. That same sunny day we lined the pit, filled it up with driftwood, sawdust and pots and set it on fire.
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Pit ready for firing.
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Pit-fired pebble and bowl.
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Pit-fired.
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Pit-fired plate.
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Fruit bowls in black, high-fired clay.
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One last cliff walk before leaving Scotland.
So viel zum Rückblick. Was die Vorschau betrifft, freue ich mich auf eine Vernissage im Endlich Store in Innsbruck – also wer am 3.September hier ist und auf die Früchte meines Schaffens in Japan, Italien und Schottland neugierig ist, ist hiermit herzlich dazu eingeladen. Und weil meine Ausstellung mit der Wiedereröffnungsfeier des Endlich Stores nach der Sommerpause zusammenfällt, glaube ich euch auch eine gute Stimmung, Essen und Musik versprechen zu können. Ich freu mich auf euch!
For those of you who will be in or around Innsbruck on 3 September, I am very excited to announce that I will be exhibiting the fruits of a year spent travelling and working with clay at the Endlich Store. You are very, very welcome to stop by, have a drink (it’s the store’s re-opening after their summer break, so there will be food, drink and music) and check out my work and that of many other local crafters and artists.