Salia’s exhibition of ceramics.
My ceramics are actually made of 50% porcelain and 50% stoneware. What I like about porcelain is that you can make very thin objects out of it. Also, it can easily break so one has to treat it with care.
I kiln it at only 1100 degrees, instead of the 1350 which would be required for household pottery. The reason is that I do not want the bowls to be used. They should remain empty. Everything in our lives is full: our wardrobes, our bellies, our heads – all are full. I want the bowls to be objects like sculptures, without any practical use.
Some of the bowls have writing on the outside. When the porcelain/stoneware mass has slightly dried that’s the right moment to start. Before I begin I never know what I will write. I sit there with the bowl in my lap; I wait for a while and create an empty space in myself, maybe a word is triggered by something which is around me and then the writing starts, slowly around the bowl until it reaches the end. I never go back and read what I have written in the previous sentence; the writing happens in a flow.
Afterwards the bowl is polished with a smooth stone. This gives the surface a silk-matte feel, so it also becomes a tactile experience for the ‘viewer’. The polishing takes quite some time and this slow process gives the object another layer of mindfulness or rather, no-mindfulness.
Salia (aka Bernadette Baumgartner) started to work as a potter when she was 27 years old. She has been exhibiting since 1988 in her native Switzerland, Germany and Croatia. At the same time she also started to run workshops. She lives in Switzerland and Greece, offering pottery and zenpattern courses. www.artha.ch