Monday 18 February 2013

Contemporary Feirefiz

Sometimes I ask myself what on Earth would my former Professor of Medieval German Studies say if he knew I have named a piece of pottery after a famous character of Wolfram von Eschenbach's Medieval German romance Parsifal. I may be branded a heretic, but I would still like you to meet Feirefiz

Feirefiz cup, wheel-thrown stoneware, 9 cm in height, 12 cm in diameter.

Eschenbach's Feirefiz is a child of a knight called Gahmuret and his first wife, an Arabic queen, Belakane. Feirefiz is also a half-brother of Parsifal. Eschenbach writes that Feirefiz's skin was marbled with white and black patches because his father was white and his mother black. It seems, in medieval times it was the idea of how an interracial person may look like. Anyway, as I read about Feirefiz I had to think about my neriage* ceramics.

My Feirefiz was made in my Viennese studio, years ago, from white and red coloured clay. This technique is called neriage and it is done by combining different coloured clay which is then thrown on the wheel. In this way you can get funny swirly and spirally patterns.

*There is a controversy among the potters about the correct name of this technique. Some call it nerikomi and others call it neriage.