I bought myself a yarn bowl:
It’s handmade by ceramic artist Knots and Pots on Etsy, a fellow raveler. She also sells handwovens and stranded hats.
This bowl has just the perfect colours for me at the moment.
Look at this amazing glaze:
Inspired by it I traveled to the east of the country on Saturday, yesterday, where a big ceramics fair is on this weekend: Keramisto 2016. I had been there once before I think, 10 or 20 years ago? I couldn’t go for many years but now that my health is a bit better and I have my own car I planned it so I could go. Brought some homemade pancakes and apple sauce for the trip and just went.
You know that I’ve been longing for large handmade tea mugs for some time now and I was hopeful to find some there.
And I did! Barely five minutes there I found the perfect stand and had the perfect Buying Ceramics Experience.
These hold half a litre each! Their glaze is amazing. Thick and full of character. They are salt glaze or soda glaze. They are by artist Markus Böhm from Müritz Ceramics in Germany, east of Berlin. He has has been woodfiring ceramics for 30 years now.
They are made in a wood fired kiln, which is unusual nowadays since it requires so much wood. They need to keep the temperature at 1300 degrees celsius for three days and two nights. Which means feeding the fire regularly, also at night, I think.
His team mate is Ute Böhm, who specializes in chrystal glazes:
Her work was stunning too. She creates perfect shapes.
But my taste lies with the salt glazes and wonky shapes. Which Markus Böhm provides:
After throwing his mugs I think he hugs them?
They have the perfect “wonky” shape to wrap your hands around and cherish the warmth of your drink. You know that typical pose people do with their cup of coffee or hot chocolate:
pic by photographer Tom Brindley
My new mugs have a triangle shape halfway their belly:
When I was there Markus himself was at the booth and he was delightfully quiet, mostly keeping behind the large displays. Giving me the time and peace to chose from the many bowls who were all singing to me.
As an introvert person and an artist this gave me a glorious ten minutes. Was it ten? It might have been two. Twenty perhaps. I have no idea. There was no rush. All I know is that I got time and peace to open up my …whatyamacallit… artistic soul?… to the materials, the tactility, the colours, the recognition of skills which set the boundaries in which coincidences are allowed to bloom. It was pure delight.
Making these kind of ceramics has (therefor) much akin with wool spinning I feel.
And painting also. Other artfull skills too, such as reduced wood block printing. Dancing. Making love. Playing with cats. Wandering around a forest. Raising kids (I imagine).
I was very, very grateful for Böhm’s non-invasiveness and I brought that feeling home with me, it is now part of the mugs and of my life as I use them.
One more thing about ceramics: as with the wool arts, admiring ceramics is done by touching it, not only looking at it. Yay!
I also bought these two fun bowls, by Hubert Eller:
Very handy since I use small bowls and plates daily for all my foods and chocolates.
Made of porcelain, by artist Kamila Dziedzic. She works in Poland, with an excellent brand of Polish porcelain. She travelled all the way to the Netherlands (it’s on the other side of the continent) to participate in this ceramics fair. She was very nice and funny! And very skilled.
I really like having one of her pieces and using it daily. My superb cream whip machine, the Bamix mixer, fits right in.
Sitting here, writing this, with my new mugs here and my new yarn bowl in the other room something artful strikes me. I live in this antique house, with high windows that look out on a canal, with a double door, with me wearing typical wooden slippers called “kleppers”, pronouncing the pleasures of well made ceramics and well fitted clothes.
Sunday morning sunlight is streaming in:
I’m channeling Dutch life as portrayed by 17th century painters!
Vermeer and Pieter de Hoogh are nodding their heads 400 years ago:
O my…. I’m an antique…. a Dutch antique.
Nothing changed. We still have the same light, the same city, the same lives.
Imagine the ladies back then also enjoying the light and their houses and their ceramics and clothes. It is just something the artists picked up on and portrayed, for which we now applaud them. But it started with the women and their life and their ability to enjoy the little things in it.