Saturday 27 December 2014

Year 2014 In Review

This year is coming to an end and my thoughts naturally dwell on everything that happened in 2014. Since this blog is an important part of my life, I'd like to take one last look at this year in blogging. Here is a quick look, if you'd like...

During January, I was finishing my preparation for my first exhibition in Vienna which was held through February and March.

In my second hometown, Vienna, I met some dear, old friends; I went to many exhibitions and museums. Also I went nearly daily to Naschmarkt, which is probably my favourite place in Vienna. The highlights of my stay there were the visits to the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory Augarten and the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

In May I broke my shoulder so I was forced to slow down... and to think about my life and my work.

In June I went to Croatia with my dear friend Lea and my son. There, I made my first wooden board and a butter knife for my son in my father’s wood atelier. In Croatia, we went hiking through the national park Plitvice. My three year old had a lot of fun immersed in nature. He was hiking with us for about five hours and didn’t complain once.

We also went to the nearby islands Cres and Losinj which I can only recommend. I love the sparse landscape of Cres and the ethereal fragrance of the Losinj’s pine trees.

Back in Switzerland I still couldn’t work with clay because of my injured shoulder so I was spending many precious moments in the nearby woods and mountains. The post about quiet moments in the foggy wood is probably my favourite. I felt so close to nature and to my true self.

This summer I also opened my internet shop on Etsy. There will be a few updates soon so I hope to awake this sleeping beauty soon.

In autumnal October I inhaled the new favourite of mine, the steel blue, with my whole heart. Also, I finally made the transition from contemplating ceramics to creating ceramics. That is when I decided to start a daily challenge for the whole month of November – A Fish A Day Challenge.
A very talented Swedish potter who lives in Spain, Melker Hansson, joined me in this challenge. We actually did pull through our fishy challenge to the end and we gained some tremendously precious experience out of it.

In December I attended the Craftsman market in Bern with two of my friends. It was a new experience for me to present my work this way. We had direct interaction with our customers about our work. Also we had a lot of friends coming over and bringing us some hot spiced wine to lift our spirits.

Photo by Silvan Mahler for danci ceramics

Photo by Silvan Mahler  for danci ceramics

I wish you all a healthy, happy new year full of love and light. And for me and all the clay lovers out here I have to add: I wish you a year full of clay.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Invitation To The Craftsman Market In Berne - Part 2

On Sunday, the 21th of December (10:00 -17:00) I am attending the Craftsman Market in Berne with two of my dear friends. So if you still do not have a perfect Christmas present for your loved ones, maybe we can help you find one.

Here is a sneak peek of some ceramics I will be presenting at the upcoming Craftsman Market. 

Turqouise bowl.
Faceted turqouise porcelain earrings
Faceted porcelain earrings.
White and royal-blue neriage earrings.
Big porcelain bowl.
Faceted diamond-cut porcelain necklace.
Soap dish.
Pink soap dish.
Green soap dish.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Turquoise And White Dream

Slip-casted porcelain, 24 cm in diameter.

This porcelain bowl is one of the highlights of my last firing.

Monday 1 December 2014

Thoughts About The Challenge

The Fish A Day Challenge for the whole Month of November is finished. While posting my last fish, #30, I felt a bit sad and tremendously relived at the same time. This November was a very intense month. I drifted between feelings of overwhelming euphoria and deep, abysmal exhaustion, with all sorts of subtle emotions between these extremes.

The challenge turned out to be more difficult than expected. Time was the resource that I lacked the most during this month. On one hand there are different processes when working with clay that had to be followed (like letting the piece become leather-hard before carving or shaping it) and on the other there were the minor technical details like catching the daylight for photographing, editing, publishing and being on time.

Originally I intended to write about the process of creation and the techniques that were involved, but this fell through so I concentrated on creating only. At the same time I didn’t’ want to have my son suffer because of his mother's fishy business. So I ended up being a fish maker during the late night hours when my boy was asleep.

The great thing about this challenge is that I wasn’t in it alone. I am glad that the very talented fellow potter Melker Hansson joined me in this challenge so we could share our impressions and struggles. He made amazing wheel thrown fish pieces that he "glazed" digitally. This way one could get the idea of what the pieces may look like in the end. Do not forget that all the pieces were created on a daily base so you only got to see the green ware. You can check Melker’s site to see his work.

The biggest benefit of being engaged with one theme so intensely – fish in this case – is that one idea brings you to the next and all these endless options explode before you. Creativity comes from creation. The more you create, the more creative you get. As Julia Cameron describes it, you somehow gain the entrance to the abundant source of creativity and all you have to do is to serve yourself.

There are so many more fish shapes I haven’t tried. Also I did too less wheel-thrown pieces than planned. This challenge may have come to an end but I will surely continue making fish themed ceramics. Also, I still owe you the final glazed fish, so stay tuned.

I am attending a craftsman market in Berne at Minster platform this Sunday the 7th of December (10:00 - 17:00), so if you are around you can come over to say hello and see some of the fish pieces in the flesh (they are still swimming in the hot kiln as I write this).