The last room, past another yard, shows the architectural ceramics of Hedwig Bollhagen (1907-2001). The last day of this exhibition is scheduled for the 13th August. Mostly known for her functional ware, she worked at important projects in this field as well – a couple of examples, the Nikolaikirche, the Märkische Museum and the Rotes Rathaus in Berlin (the red City hall), they all bear her signature! Sketches, proofs, documents are shown in order to comprehend the amount of work that architectural ceramics means. There is also an excerpt from a documentary on this eclectic ceramist, available to buy at the museum entrance. What mostly took my attention was, there on the floor, in the corner, a huge plaster mould. This was used by her to give form to an eagle to be placed up on several spots of the Rotes Rathaus facade. It’s in front of me, totally within reach, as I was creeping into her workshop. You can clearly see how the plaster was made, the little hole left from an air bubble when the form was done, the clay that marks the inside of the form with a darker shaded nuance. It’s fascinating how such details can make one smile, isn’t it?
When I thought I was done, I went greeting the woman working there and, just a 150 meters from the old burgher’s house, I found a gallery/shop displaying beautiful stoneware dishes and cups in different stiles and forms. The geometrical decorations in black and shining dark green called me in. The nice woman working there explained that everything showed there was made by hand by different ceramists, as intended by the original patterns and forms of Hedwig Bollhagen – the circle comes to a close! That’s how she made herself a name, then. I quite understand the reason why, the pieces are beautiful; and the talk was giving. I went out from the Bollhagen-Shop happy and at peace.
Today I got myself to see some “whole” vessels, vessels bearing the life and passion of a person, and I got to talk to people that surely love, know and respect ceramics as much as me, we, do. What more than this? Just pay a visit to this tiny museum when you’re in Berlin. It is a good way to support the association that started the place in 1990 as well as to earn yourself a nice time.
Keramik Museum Berlin, Schustehrusstr. 13
Opening hours: Fr-Mo 13-17 pm
Galerie Theis, Schustehrusstr. 15 and Bollhagen-Shop, Wilmersdorfer Straße 9
Opening hours: Tu-Sat 14-18 pm