International Ceramic Symposium
6 - 30 August, 2015

This symposium is organised by the Foundation for Contemporary Ceramics in conjunction with the International Ceramics Studio.

Invited artists include:

(United States of America)

As the poet economizes words, I have developed a similar means of expression in the ceramic arts through the conservation of materials. I believe that the aesthetic impact of a work of art is not proportional to its size, but to its content. It is not the objects created which are of prime importance, but the lives of people who may be touched in significant ways.

Although the vast majority of my work created between 1983 and 1995 consists almost entirely of teapots, I consider myself a sculptor with a strong commitment to social commentary. My chosen medium — the material I love to work with — is clay. The vessel is the primal "canvas" for the ceramic artist, and my vessel of choice is the teapot, the most complex of vessels, consisting of body, handle, spout, lid and knob. This allows me the widest latitude in juxtaposing the many images I use to set up my narrative pieces.

In addition, the teapot is a universally recognized object, with strong associations to domesticity and tranquility. As such, it is a "hook" to lure the viewer — who must then decipher the narrative imagery — in a sort of bait-and-switch fashion. The conveying of tea is secondary to the not-so-hidden message in my "teapots". In addition to examining our many human follies, these teapots pay homage to the teapots of Yixing, China. I was first attracted to the Yixing teapots' small scale, attention to detail, and wide range of imagery; I later became a student of their remarkable sense of proportion and composition, as well as their symbolism and narrative qualities. In creating my teapots, I strive to avoid being a mere copyist. Although I closely imitate the scale, formats, colors and textures of the unglazed Yixing teapots, my intention is to borrow from these formal qualities with honesty and a sense of homage. It is of utmost importance, however, that my teapots retain a totally separate cultural identity, that they reflect our contemporary civilization's imagery and speak of our current situations as we emerge from the 20th century into the 21st.

Richard Notkin's website


Erna Aaltonen is a Finnish studio potter renowned worldwide for her hand-built sculptural vessels. Her simple elegant forms of coarse stoneware clay with rubbed oxides on their rough, pitted surfaces are for many collectors the very face of the contemporary Finnish aesthetic.
Unlike many of the other leading lights of Scandinavian ceramics, Aaltonen only began her ceramic studies at the Kuopio Academy of Design at age of thirty. Ever the technically consummate professional, she spent much of her early career assisting many of Finland’s major artisans, designers and ceramicists in the technical realization of their ceramics, refining their work at the legendary 130 year old Arabia Finland ceramics factory. Since 1996, she has maintained her own studio in the old Fiskars ironworks that date back to 1649.

Her work is marked by a supremely elegant conceptual minimalism. “Round, abstract, sculptural forms fascinate me. They have always been central to my work. I always build my works by hand from thinly rolled, ribbon like strips of clay that I join edge to edge. The work progresses slowly, layer by layer. I use neither the potter’s wheel nor molds. I have always been drawn to a variety of colors and they figure prominently in my work, especially the colors and surfaces of the glazes and the transformation that takes place in the kiln. Ceramic art is for me the ideal opportunity to combine form, color and surface structure into one continuous whole.”

By leaving an opening in the shapes she creates, she preserves the connection with the interior, at the same time referring to that invisible space as the inspiration for the form. The opening is an important element through which the work breathes.

Erna Aaltonen's website


I am a person who tends to build from the inside out. Just like lyric poetry my works are trying to be born, come outside from their hiding, regardless of their future, whether they will find a place for themselves, whether they will be understood.

The age we live in inspires me. I react to it by my work and confront it with ourselves. I place a mirror in front of us. The towers symbolize the consumer society of the 21st century.

My porcelain sculptures evoke the cities of the 21st century, pulsating with relationships of singles and couples who inhabit them. Buildings become humans as they act, crumble and collapse, turn aside, fall down gently and softly; not so much as dying, rather just giving in to some unavoidable force. Among the towers transcending into humans we cannot but recognise the parallels with human society.
This content possibility is what especially intrigues me in „The City” nowadays.

My work is an on-going dialogue with the matter. Experimentation is my working utensil, in other words, I can realize my plans through experimentation. Experimentation becomes part of my sculptures. It does not mean that I have to make a decision between two alternatives. I work together with the coincidence created by the experiment and build it into my object. I plan my sculptures in general, but because there is a great element of coincidence to work with I never know exactly what will emerge from the fire. I and coincidence create the sculpture together. Because I have not formulated an accurate vision in my mind about the sculpture, my expectations are not exact either.

The experiment consists of my decision about what area and how much of it I allow coincidence in the creative process. My decision is the conscious use of coincidence.

Belülről építkező alkat vagyok. A versekhez hasonlóan az én munkáim is egyszerűen kikívánkoznak belőlem, függetlenül attól, hogy mi lesz a jövőjük, hogyan fogják később megtalálni a helyüket és hogy megértésre találnak-e. A minket körülvevő kor hat inspirálóan rám. Szobraimmal tükröt tartok magunk elé. A tornyok a 21. század nagyvárosainak, a fogyasztói társadalomnak a szimbólumai.
Porcelánból készült szobraim megidézik a 21. század városait a bennük élők viszonyaival, a szingli és a páros kapcsolatokkal. Az épületek emberekké válnak, amikor cselekszenek: omlanak, elfordulnak, lefekszenek, eldőlnek finoman, lágyan, mintha nem is elpusztulnának, inkább megadnák magukat valami elkerülhetetlen erőnek. Az emberré lényegülő tornyok között pedig kikerülhetetlen a párhuzam felismerése a társadalommal. Ez az a tartalmi lehetőség az, ami különösen érdekel a „Város”-ban mostanában.

Munka során folyamatos párbeszédet folytatok az anyaggal. A kísérletezés nekem ebben az esetben munkaeszközt jelent. Vagyis a terveim megvalósításának az eszköze. A kísérlet része a szobraimnak. Nem jelent számomra döntéshelyzetet. A kísérlet által létrehozott véletlennel dolgozom, beleépítem a tárgyba. Alapvonalaiban megtervezem a szobrot, de a véletlen jelenléte miatt nem tudom pontosan, hogy mit fogok kapni az égetés után. A véletlen és én közösen hozzuk létre a szobrot. Mivel nincs pontos előképem a műről így nincs pontos elvárásom vele szemben. A kísérlet az, hogy a véletlennek mekkora és milyen területet engedek át. Ez a döntésem teszi tudatossá a véletlen használatát.


Scottish ceramicist Wendy kershaw is known for her illustrated porcelain books and panels.

After working as artist in residence, lecturer and technician Wendy Kershaw is now a full time ceramicist. Based in an old farmhouse, in a glen near Lochwinnoch, Scotland.

Wendy creates narrative illustrations on porcelain, usually in the form of framed panels, but also porcelain books and folding screens. She intricately builds up rich layers of imagery, by etching into porcelain with needles, then working in stains, transfers and on-glaze. Her skilful techniques and multiple firings produce unique detailed images.

The themes that she illustrates range from the poetry of Keats and Tennyson, celebrations of the small joys of life and her own stories.

A large influence on her work were three residencies in China, where she was invited after her work was exhibited in America. These were in the historic porcelain capital of Jingdezhen, Shanghai and as part of the UK delegation to the FuLe International Ceramic Art Museums.

An award winning ceramicist Wendy exhibits in the UK and internationally, and has work in the permanent collections of two museums in China.

Wendy will be teaching a mastercourse the week before this symposium. Please see here . . .

Wendy Kershaw's website


Through passion, humour, irony and critical thinking, Lithuanian sculptor and ceramist Audrius Janusonis interprets the complexity of the human being in new and exciting ways.

The works of Audrius Janusonis convey the constant ambivalence between intellect and emotion, looming action and meditative silence, vulnerability and strength, pain and tenderness, rapture and latent aggression, and power and powerlessness. Outward appearances gain significance as symbols of inner processes. We are confronted with the egotistical, playful, erotic, animalistic and innocently cruel in his work.

His figures radiate warmth and naïve aggression and are at once both familiar and foreign. This is how the figures maintain their appeal; they gently seduce and unsettle at the same time. The search for an existential dimension, in other words for the question that invariably remains unanswered, is omnipresent. The overall result is art that is both figurative as philosophical in nature. The tension between the two perspectives is what makes Audrius Janusonis' portrayal of human comedy and tragedy so fascinating.

Born in 1968. In 1994 he graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts where he studied ceramics. Since 1993 he has participated in exhibitions and symposiums in Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and the USA. The artist has arranged a number of solo exhibitions. He has been a member of the Lithuanian Artists’ Union since 1997.

He has won awards such as the 2nd Prize at the Tallinn Triennial of Applied Arts Possession, Estonia (2000), 3rd Prize at the 32nd International Ceramics Competition CICA, Spain (2012), Lithuanian Artists’ Union Golden Badge No.038 (2012), Grand Prix at the Kaunas Biennial UNITEKSTAS, Lithuania (2013). The artist has won the State Endowment prizes (1997, 2004 to 2005, 2011) and the McKnight Foundation Grant, USA (2006). The artist works at the Alytus Art School and also creates as a studio artist.

FUSZ Gyorgy
for information please email International contact:
Steve Mattison, International Ceramics Studio

Strohner Márton, Magyar kapcsolat

Nemzetközi Kerámia Stúdió - International Ceramics Studio
Kápolna u.11. Kecskemét 6000, Hungary