POTTERY IN HALLE (GERMANY)

BEATRIX WEISSFLOG

BEATRIX WEISSFLOG

Born in 1960, school and Abitur 1979 in Halle (Saale), after passing the qualifying examination for the field of ceramics at the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts of the University of Industrial Design Burg Giebichenstein Halle learning the potter’s craft within the so-called preparatory course 1979-81 in the University’s pottery workshop in Bürgel/Thuringia finishing with the qualification as skilled worker in pottery, 1981-86 ceramic studies with professor Martin Wetzel, graduating with a diploma in ceramics, 1986-89 postgraduate studies in the field of sculpture with professor Bernd Göbel, then freelance work with participations in exhibitions (e.g. international ceramic biennials in Faenza /Italy, Aveiro /Portugal) and in international workshops at Kassel and Kahla (porcelain), figurative and architectural work, project work with schools (Sculpture Park Alte Brennerei Niemberg e.V.), since 2016 teaching art classes at school.

 

POTTERY IN TOTANA (SPAIN)

The family company Bellón Alfareros goes back to the late 18th century in the city of Totana (southeast Spain). Traditionally, they produced transport and storage vessels. However, because of major changes brought about by industrialisation, they now elaborate ornamental pottery and exquisite replicas of, and original pieces inspired by, historical objects, especially painted Iberian pottery.

The Bellón have a close, undeniable relationship with the wheel and the brush, but they also know very well the world of prehistoric handmade pottery. One may stress their collaboration with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in the musealisation of the Argaric site of La Bastida. To help visitors imagine and understand the way of life of this Bronze Age society, they produce replicas of the impressive large jars that served both as storage vessels and funerary containers, which nowadays stand out at the settlement.

Perhaps as a result of their close relationship with the materials, the Bellón family explores other dimensions of their trade and skills. Their collaboration with specialists in experimental archaeological research has helped demonstrate scientifically that fire may completely alter the original colouring of the pottery found by archaeologists in excavations.

Totana (southeast Spain) is a city prolific in families of potters. Among the Hernández family, everyone seems to carry in their genes the calling for this profession, and it only takes knowing them to realise this is not an exaggeration. Like other families in Totana, their history is one of shift in production in response to industrialisation, and they now produce mainly ornamental and garden pottery.

But the economic crisis at the beginning of this century also entailed another change. Nowadays, the activities of Hernández Alfareros include educational workshops, the reproduction of archaeological objects and guided tours in their facilities, where they tell the story of their trade in its local context.

Their interest in the prehistoric past of the territory of present-day Totana is genuine and unquestionable. Proof of it is the fact that the Hernández family built an educational replica of an El Argar house at their workshop. And when the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona built a replica of an El Argar house at the very site of La Bastida —both for educational and experimental purposes—the Hernández contributed as furnishings several reproductions of ceramic vessels. More recently, the family is seeking to replicate the techniques involved in the making and firing of large storage jars as employed by Argaric potters approximately 4,000 years ago.

Links:

Promotional video of Hernández Alfareros, withTira del Lienzo as scenary

Pedro Hernández tells the history of his family business.

Hernández Alfareros (more information)

PEDRO NAVARRO DÍAZ

PEDRO NAVARRO DÍAZ

The City of Potters, Totana, is also home to self-made artists. This is the case of Pedro Navarro Díaz, co-founding member of ASBA. Fed by his untiring curiosity and powers of observation, two great passions have guided him: archaeology and handcrafts. With years of practice, he has managed to reproduce faithfully the handmade El Argar pottery—including the fabrication of Form 6, a lentil-shape vessel which is very difficult to manufacture.

Pedro is a diligent volunteer in the activities of ASBA (for instance, the theatrical guided tours in which he incarnated a prehistoric potter) and the protagonist of the El Argar chapter of the documentary In Their Hands produced in the framework of CRAFTER. More recently, he intends to do experiments aimed at approaching the original firing techniques of the large Argaric storage vessels of Form 4.

POTTERY IN PARAĆIN (SERBIA)

DEJAN JOVANOVIĆ

DEJAN JOVANOVIĆ

Dejan Jovanović earned his B.A. from the Faculty of Applied Arts and Design (Department of Ceramics and Glass) of the University of Belgrad in 1995. He lives and works in his hometown, Paraćin. He has participated in several individual and collective exhibitions in the areas of wheel-made pottery and clay modelling, both in Serbia and outside the country.

Recently, he has become interested in archaeology and collaborated with the Belgrad Institute of Archaeology and the Regional Museum of Paraćin. Besides his interest in Late Medieval pottery from Serbia, Dejan has become attracted to Late Prehistoric pottery from the region, namely from the Neolithic and the Bronze Age—the latter period represented by the Vatin archaeological group. Thanks to these experiences, Dejan’s work is more and more inspired in the past.

In the framework of CRAFTER, Dejan collaborates with the Museum of Paraćin in the recreation of ceramic shapes typical of the Vatin culture and in experimenting with prehistoric manufacturing techniques.

LÁSZLÓ GUCSI

LÁSZLÓ GUCSI

POTTERY IN BUDAPEST (HUNGARY)

László Gucsi was born in Dunaújváros, Hungary, in 1973. He has been interested in archaeology and pottery since a young age. He attempted his first reproduction of prehistoric pottery when he was 12 years old and since then he has created more than 1,500 objects. His professional experience includes the areas of technical drawing, restoration and archaeology.

His statement as a creative artist? “Instead of speaking too much, let the shapes, motifs, surfaces and atmospheres prevail. I will be very glad if this [work] can touch anybody, as then I will have fulfilled my role in this mediation between the legacy of people of the Bronze Age and people of today. I thank everyone who helped and supported me in this endeavor!”

Beatrix Weissflog smooting the ceramic

Beatrix Weissflog smooting the ceramic

Bartolomé Bellón

Bartolomé Bellón

Bellón Alfareros production

Bellón Alfareros production

Argaric house reproduction by Hernández Alfareros

Argaric house reproduction by Hernández Alfareros

Vessels drying (Hernández Alfareros)

Vessels drying (Hernández Alfareros)

Stone-burnished by Pedro Navarro Díaz

Stone-burnished by Pedro Navarro Díaz

A cup and a carinated pot by Pedro Díaz Navarro

A cup and a carinated pot by Pedro Díaz Navarro

Starting decoration by Dejan Jovanović.

Starting decoration by Dejan Jovanović.

Dejan Jovanović reproductions.

Dejan Jovanović reproductions.

László Gucsi disign.

László Gucsi disign.

László Gucsi creations.

László Gucsi creations.