Piece 1: to talk about colours without seeing them
I admit it. When she asked me not to take pictures of her pottery for this blog, since she judged the diffused light not good to have sincere pictures, pictures that could tell the truth about her colours, I was left a bit sceptic. Few pictures, but approved by her from scratch to the final result, that’s how she prefers it.
Sitting here and writing, I actually love the idea of somebody saying “no pictures, thanks”. It has become a bit unusual. There are so many pictures everywhere, I have almost lost my interest in photography. So, no pictures about pottery this time.
But how can I tell you about the beautiful yellows, the rusty reds, and the opaque, calm green, or the blank green, pouring down the surface, a green I almost mistook for blue (see! How the light defines colours)? Her pottery is neat; glazes have a coyly leading role.
Just imagine. You are keeping in your hand an autumnal colour, home, drinking some chocolate and rum. It is warm, slightly bitter, it wraps around you. That’s it, then.
Piece 2: How to study a prestigious subject and end up being an artisan
What exactly comes into mind, nowadays, when a person collects her-his impressions and experiences and all of a sudden opens her-himself a path towards pottery?
In the rich Europe, not only designers that do not even dare touching the clay are said to be potters, not only sons/daughters of artisans choose a path that will destroy the body and keep the wallet endlessly light and small. There is people outside, mad enough to follow what they found out to be an unbearable passion. She studied chemistry, but she is to be found in her workshop now, bent over metal oxides, weighting and mixing, burning them up to high temperatures. Welcome back to chemistry lessons, who wouldn’t?
Piece 3: In Berlin there was nobody and the kilns were old
When she arrived to Berlin it was easier to find a place where to stay.
It was rarer to see potters, she tells me.
When she arrived the potters were fewer, and she used to burn her vessels into one of those massive old kilns. Maybe made of bricks, almost impossible to carry, sometimes capricious, spreading the uneven heat. She found herself picking out pieces with glazes as uneven as the heat, although at the start, that’s for sure, they were all almost the same. Not a cake that come out badly, but several, several pieces you stare at and maybe sell as second choices. Therefore behind her there is now a brand new huge electric kiln, reliable, almost lovely, a good investment.
Now the dark has descended; as sincere her welcome was, as sincere her farewell. She has piles of work calling for her, and some other countless tasks, she explains.
Without pictures, and the eternal question: what happens in the mind of people leaving their jobs to be potters?
If you find yourself near Greifswalder Str., have a look at Sabine Wagner pottery, Naugarder Straße 42