In Studio with Ute Naue-Müller
Ute, your training and further education from 1979 to 2001 couldn’t have been more varied. Can you tell us how you came to be a ceramist today?
Without going into too much detail, I was born in Dresden but I spent my childhood in Halle an der Saale, a rather grey city at the time, dominated by the chemical industry. My parents, both scientists, had created a kind of island of the arts for me: piano lessons at the conservatory and a large library full of wonderful children’s books. I painted a lot and knitted with a passion. Quite naturally, the spirit of physics was always tangible in our house, and I was certainly strongly influenced by it. And so I first became an engineer, something “with substance”, especially since the Technical University in Dresden was then and still is a good place to study. So back to the old homeland. Then came the wonderful but stressful phase, the parallel worlds of bearing and raising children, juggling that with working as an engineer. Finally, I sensed a longing to explore new fields of knowledge. At nearly 40, I went back to university again: German studies and art education with fantastic new worlds of images and text. It was during this time that I first came into contact with clay in the university’s ceramics workshop. Then I gathered further experience by working in two traditional local potteries, as well as self-taught learning.
When you look at the gallery on your website, you are initially overwhelmed by the variety of colours in your works. Does this reflect your character, your being?
For me, colour and music are comparable: both wordless and yet they are language. Both speak to me emotionally, so I have a deep-rooted need to express myself creatively through colour.
There is a lot to consider when creating a painterly composition: the chiaroscuro, the play of glossy and matt, colour applied linearly or as a surface, the choice of colour in general, the effect on a three-dimensional object and much more.