My objects arise from the purpose to make sustainable sense of material and form. I use contemporary tools and draw from the knowledge of different traditions in the context of a globalized culture. My main driving force here is the dialogue between East and West.
My vocabulary of shapes
The poles that my work commute between are series and single pieces, geometric severity and motifs of organic nature as well as function and object character narration.
I work with a series of repetitive forms. These include "generic shapes" or "archetypes" vessels, such as tea, rice and soup bowls and cups to forms such as oval vases, which vary in ever new variations, "dressed up" from me in color and decor. So, my creations from different years combine well with each other. In this way I feel connected to the Japanese table culture which in contrast to Western culture arranges different pieces - delicate porcelain, finely painted to roughly furrowed plates of dark stoneware and other contrasting elements - compositions matched according to season.
For several years my technical and formal expertise found its possibilities in industrially executable designs. For that I expanded my repertoire of craftsmanship with the use of computer programs, 3D drawing and models for rapid prototyping, and 2D for the creation of screen templates for patterns. These different techniques - traditional ones as well the new technologies - helped me produce in the best sense everyday products that have long-lasting validity and also speak a contemporary language of form.
As a counterpoint to my serial objects I also produce original items. Mostly narrative vessels with which I formulate my personal reflections on various topics of contemporary history.
De Stijl, Shaker, The East
For more than three decades, I have been engaged in an intensive study of East Asian porcelain and ceramics. Bernard Leach's legendary "A Potter's Book" was a textbook and inspiration. His texts are some of my first encounters with the Eastern tea culture and way of thinking.
A scholarship semester at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and the influence of De Stijl, the Dutch equivalent of the Bauhaus, aroused a love of geometry in me. Study and work stays in Japan and China conveyed to me both technical knowledge and inspiration for several series in recent years. My studies in Kyoto have made me familiar with the tea culture and a diverse ceramic tradition that, influenced by Zen in conjunction with asymmetry, reduction, yes, "poorness" is impressive. In Jingdezhen, the historical porcelain capital of China and the world, I have explored various techniques and styles of Chinese origin, of special interest the symbolism in porcelain painting. Another Chinese favourite are the stunningly elegant monochrome stoneware glazes of the Song-Period, some of which I aimed to reproduce on my pitcher and plate series in the nineties.
In addition, I have dealt extensively with the repertoire of European porcelain manufacturers. Other standards are the simple beauty and presence of products of the American Shaker communities, the Vienna Workshop as well as those of the Bauhaus as a groundbreaking expression of modernity. Some of my items are said to be related to Josef Hoffmann models, even if not originally intended. Scandinavian and Italian design from the second half of the 20th century have also influenced me.
As early as my student days at the University of Linz for Art and Industrial Design I became interested in the topics of alternative lifestyles and social utopias based on my work, especially when it comes to creating the necessary things of daily use that should have longer validity. Since the beginning of my creative work my defining principle has been to set something more permanent against the rapid wear of all things in a society based on constant growth and consumption. That is also why I have been firing my ceramic with renewable energy for more than ten years.
A modified saying of Bernard Rudofsky's has been with me for many years: "Not a new way of design, a new way of living is needed."