New Ceramics 1/2020 - Content



Silvia Celeste Calcagno – Italy
Andrea Müller / Helmut Massenkeil – Germany
Valda Podkalne / Harald Jegodzienski – Latvia / Germany
Angela Burkhardt-Guallini – Switzerland
Richard Slee – UK
Johan van Loon / M. Gökhan Taskin – Netherlands / Turkey


Thinking –  Gustav Weiß – Art philosophy
Abstraction – Nesrin During – Art theory
New Home For Ceramics Collection – Antje Soléau – History
Young Talents – Monika Gass – China / USA


8th International Ceramics Symposium CHANGCHUN – China
Still Life – Judith Püschel / Antje Scharfe  – Frechen – Germany
Johan Tahon – Geneva – Switzerland
Sonngard Marcks – Wolfenbüttel – Germany
EKWC / Jingdezhen Netherlands / China
Museum of Applied Art – Waldenburg – Germany
Silently Holding the Flower – Kyoto – Japan


Ron Deibel, USA – Yu-Pei Wu, Taiwan – Ting-Ju Shao


Juan Ortì – Evelyne Schoenmann – Interview / Developing Skills

DATES / Exhibitions / Galleries / Museums


New Ceramics 1/2020

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    Silvia Celeste Calcagno – IT, Andrea Müller / Helmut Massenkeil – D, Valda Podkalne / Harald Jegodzienski Lettland / Deutschland, Angela Burkhardt-Guallini – CH, Richard See – GB, Johan van Loon / M. Gökhan Taskin  – NL / TR

    Thinking –  Gustav Weiß – Art philosophy, Abstraction – Nesrin During – Art theory, New Home For Ceramics Collection – Antje Soléau – History, Young Talents – Monika Gass – China / USA

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    Silvia Celeste Calcagno


    8th International Ceramics Symposium CHANGCHUN – China, Still Life – Judith Püschel / Antje Scharfe  – Frechen – Germany, Johan Tahon – Geneva Switzerland, Sonngard Marcks – Wolfenbüttel – Germany, EKWC / Jingdezhen Netherlands / China, Museum of Applied Art – Waldenburg Germany, Silently Holding the Flower – Kyoto – Japan

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    The exhibition around the old round kiln


    Ron Deibel, USA – Yu-Pei Wu, Taiwan

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    Ron Deibel, USA


    Evelyne Schoenmann visits Juan Ortì in her Studio

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    Dates and Exhibitions from Amsterdam to Winzer



Profile: Silvia Celeste Calcagno – IT, Andrea Müller / Helmut Massenkeil – D, Valda Podkalne / Harald Jegodzienski – LV / D, Angela Burkhardt-Guallini  – CH Forum: Young Talents – Monika Gass – CN / USA Exhibitions: 8th International Ceramics Symposium CHANGCHUN – China, Museum of Applied Art – Waldenburg – Germany Artist-Journal: Ron Deibel, USA and Yu-Pei Wu, Taiwan In Studio: Juan Ortì  – Evelyne Schoenmann

Silvia Celeste Calcagno

Silvia Celeste Calcagno’s new three-dimensional works titled Dirt, which accompany her large panel Zero installed in the church of San Pancrazio (the church is dedicated to the martyr Saint Pancras, one of the “ice saints” linked to a few days in mid-May, traditionally the last cold period of the year) in Tarquinia, represent an important landmark in her oeuvre.
Calcagno made her debut in 2012 at the Studio Lucio Fontana in Albissola, exhibiting Nerosensibile: on that occasion, the Hilaria series presented some of the powerful themes that would hallmark all her works. These include obsessive repetition, the mortal permanence of the photographic image and its intrinsic temporal precision, its limitations in depicting bodily nature, and, in addition, the use of sequential works to suggest a different, internal but perfectly cadenced dimension of time, a sort of hypothetical narrative, elliptical and interrogative, in which an important role is played by the time required for its viewing, a factor that is taken to its extremes in her installations.

(Flaminio Gualdoni)

Silvia Celeste Calcagno

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Andrea Müller and Helmut Massenkeil

Last summer, with their exhibition in Marktheidenfeld, near Frankfurt in Germany entitled Paarbeziehung (“[Partner] Relationship“), Andrea Müller and Helmut Massenkeil were also celebrating their own personal relationship of forty years’ standing. They met on the sculpture course at the University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden. They graduated in 1977. While Helmut subsequently concentrated on fine art, Andrea mainly worked in the applied art field. Both work in clay, Helmut on the figure, often anthropomorphic pieces, and Andrea makes vessel ceramics. If we understand human beings as a vessel of god, then both make vessels, in the concrete and the figurative sense.
They first had a studio in Frankfurt am Main, but they have jointly run the artists’ house, Künstlerhaus am Stiftsberg, in Aschaffenburg since 1985. Their two studios and workshops are located there, linked by a sculpture garden. In their gallery spaces, they exhibit mainly their own work, complemented and accentuated by a small number of out-of-the-ordinary creations by the respective partner. Due to their frequent exhibitions, they repeatedly explore the question of equality in value of applied and fine art, but for them quality is the sole criterion.
(Antje Soléau)

Andrea Müller and Helmut Massenkeil

Valda Podkalne and Harald Jegodzienski

IN THE WORK OF Valda Podkalne
In what way does an artwork complement the presentation of concepts that actually only exist in our imagination, yet which to a considerable degree characterise our search for the meaning of life? There are eternal themes, fundamentally important, but there are unanswered questions: What are dreams, memories, the universe, space, time, stars, thoughts, love? The greatest challenge for every artist is at the very least to complement or to recreate familiar interpretations. To achieve the best result, the artist often has to take brave decisions, for instance to learn to comprehend breaks in the established continuity of their creative process as a motor of a new understanding. The artist Valda Podklane, one of the best-known personalities in contemporary Latvian ceramics, has done this. (Irena Bužinska, art historian)

PATHWAY One feature is particularly surprising in Harald Jegodzienski – having left aside the pleasures of the ceramic/sculptural studio for thirty years in favour of painting. A sense of lightness was to enter his life, and this meant a farewell to weighty earthiness, with all its consequences. He now transferred the deeply-felt creative experience with clay, involving scraping, scoring and gouging into the material to paper. Signs evolved that were translated into the physically lightest medium: abstract images of musical notations as ideas for composers. Colour tones thus became tone colours, essences of experience became musical postcards.

Valda Podkalne

Angela Burkhardt-Guallini

Delicate and strong lines or broad, partly colourful strips in black, dark grey, red or spring green cover and slice through the white of the porcelain vessels of Angela Burkhardt-Guallini. The work of this Swiss artist develop a an almost pictorial effect and awaken in the viewer associations with grasses swaying in the wind, veined rocks or flowing water. These always unglazed pieces have a soft, silky feel. Some lines stand out and can thus be sensed with the fingers.
This visual and tactile experience was recently available to visitors to the Keramikmuseum Staufen for the showcase exhibition Linie zu Linie (“Line to Line”), organised by the Förderkreis (Friends) of the museum in its 25th anniversary year. With these showcase exhibitions consisting of approx. 40 pieces, the Friends provide contemporary ceramists with a platform six times a year. More than 150 exhibitors from all over Germany and the neighbouring countries of France and Switzerland have been guests here, creating a lively meeting place where visitors can meet ceramists like Angela Burkhardt-Guallini in person and be caught up in the enthusiasm for her creative work. 

(Christina Soltani)

Angela Burkhardt-Guallini

Didem Mert

Statement: In my work, I make connections between the utilitarian object and its counterparts, the user and/or the object’s environment. Being the daughter of a woodworker, I was raised in a design-rich environment that has influenced who I am and my current body of ceramic work.  Geometry, texture, and the functionality of my work emanates from this artistic environment. Different textural surfaces are created in my work by using pinched marks juxtaposed between smooth, defined lines and edges.
Didem Mert was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. She received her BFA (ceramics) from Northern Kentucky University in 2014 and MFA (ceramics) from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2017. Mert has exhibited nationally in places such as The Clay Studio, Companion Gallery, Charlie Cummings Gallery, AKAR, The Erie Art Museum, and over forty other venues.

(Monika Gass)

Didem Mert

8th CHANGCHUN International Ceramics Symposium and the 1st Lotus Mountain Prize – International Contest 2019

Changchun is a steel and car making town in the northeast of China with around five million inhabitants, and since 2006 it has been twinned with the German city of Wolfsburg. What many people in the West are not aware of is that a highly interesting competition and symposium, with valuable prizes, has taken place there for eight years. The mean annuzal temperature is 4.7°C, so in winter it can easily reach minus 17°C, and this is the explanation for the exceptional location, set outside town, the Lotus Hill Ski Resort, which is unused in summer. It has generously proportioned rooms and plenty of space to work, not to mention beautiful views and a hilly green setting in unspoiled surroundings.
I was most impressed by the time I spent in Changchun, visiting the artists in the workrooms, judging the exhibits and, finally, the wonderful closing event. The fact that in 2019, this symposium was taking place for the eighth time shows great commitment on the part of the Chinese initiators, who i in the three-week symposium put on a very respectable promotion of culture on an international level. In 2019, fifty internationally active artists from 29 countries were selected for the three weeks, they were invited, accommodated and supported in their creative artistic work in a whole variety of ways. It is indicative of this event that many of the participants had not come to the symposium in Changchun, northeastern China, for the first time.

(Monika Gass)

8th CHANGCHUN International Ceramics Symposium and the 1st Lotus Mountain Prize – International Contest 2019

Waldenburg Museum for Ceramics and Applied Art

Large spheres lie on the base of a kiln – spheres with eyes, with poetic texts, erotic portrayals of women, leaping stags and abstract décor. They were painted by artists who had come to workshops in Waldenburg, in the studio of the Kunsthandel, the official GDR art business. The spheres are part of the private collection of ceramist Peter Tauscher, who has gifted his extensive collection to a museum planned by his wife Sabine which conveys an authentic picture of the cooperation between artists and craftspeople. In this location, painters from the art schools in Halle, Berlin, Leipzig and Heiligendamm encountered the large-scale earthen forms of ceramist Peter Tauscher. A large number of one-off pieces was created through this fruitful cooperation – vessels, murals and figural pieces. In the newly opened Museum für Keramik und Angewandte Kunst, (MKA – Museum of Ceramics and Applied Art), not only the artworks but also the workshop character have been preserved. The exhibits are shown in rooms where the historical machines still stand beside coal-fired kilns that reach two storeys high. One of them is still in use today.
In GDR times, Waldenburg was considered the Mecca of ceramics, inseparably linked with the name of Peter Tauscher. He guaranteed a love of experimentation and freedom and a high standard of craftsmanship married with artistic imagination. Tauscher could build on sound foundations. 

(Doris Weilandt)

The exhibition around the old round kiln

Artist Journal: Ron Geibel and Yu-Pei WU

Ron Geibel  (U.S.A.) 

Geibel was born in 1985 in Pennsylvania, United States
Multiple small balls spread orderly on ivory-white boxing gloves, bullet-shaped pins, or delicious ice creams. Contradiction is concealed under the pure visual beauty. The bullet-shapes, as symbols of private part, pile up or are arranged in neatly packed rows to serve as the camouflage of what is concealed by the form, as the artist intended.

Yu-Pei WU   (Taiwan)
Wu was born in Taiwan in 1990. She re-arranges the role and application of clay and glaze. When clay as the essential material for moulding and glazing is fired, its role is re-defined and innovated. “After repetitive firing, the glazed clay powder on the surface of the work shrinks naturally. As the firing process is completed, remove the clay body under the glaze, and what is left is the surface glaze with a thin layer of clay powder…”

(Ting-Ju SHAO)

Ron Geibel

Yu-Pei WU

In studio with Juan Ortí

Juan, was it one of your childhood dreams to be a ceramist one day?
No, I’m a ceramist by chance. I grew up in an artist family and in the beginning, I was not interested in art or in studying. After I, even so, studied Industrial Design, which I didn’t like, but I needed credit points, I began to take potters-wheel classes. I immediately realized that this is what I wanted to do and abandoned everything to focus on ceramics. I studied in the Arts and Crafts school of Valencia with Enric Mestre.

Most people, when they hear your name, think of your cylinder-shaped sculptures. Is this your signature style?
For me, the cylinder is the main shape, from the cylinder all the shapes came out and with the potter’s wheel you can model all. I imagine all the shapes that surround us are made by cylinders. The limits are in your imagination.

Would you call it “architectural” or “industrial” ceramic art? Or maybe something else?
I like “industrial”. I’m interested in daily forms that surround us: objects that have industrial, architectural and daily use influence. They are usually objects that are associated with a work environment. The human being when working does very beautiful things without realizing it: why are the fields, the traditional architecture, the small objects with which we live together beautiful? Simply for love, when people do things with love for their work, they do beautiful things. That is the kind of beauty that interests me, it is subtle and hidden but we live with it every moment of our lives.

(Evelyne Schoenmann)

Juan Ortí

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