We’ve always said that White River is blessed to the stars and back with the number of talented, renowned artists and craftsmen/women living here, whose work is sought after and displayed across South Africa and beyond our borders.
We are, then, extremely proud of Maria Ziessler who is the Association of Arts, Pretoria’s Potter of the Month in August 2017. Her exhibition of wood fired salt glazed stoneware and porcelain opens at the Association’s gallery on Sunday, 6th August at 11h00 (details of the event on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/events/1556068131080282/) Admission is free so if any Lowvelders are in the vicinity, please pop in so that you can proudly say ‘this is my neighbour’s work!’
The Association has this to say about Maria:
Maria Ziessler and her husband Holger moved to South Africa in 2000 and soon after opened their ceramic studio. Her love for salt glazed and wood fired pottery came from her childhood where old traditional pottery of this kind was handed down from generation to generation and with the inspirations gathered from Japanese and German potters she began to rebuild the studio.
She studied pottery in the former East Germany in 1987 and 1988 and worked in different pottery studios in Germany and operated her first private ceramic studio in 1994-1997. In 2015 Maria was privileged to be invited as international ceramics artist to the first International Bhutan Art festival in Thimpu. Here she worked one on one with the last of the Bhutanese potters learning immensely from their rich heritage.
Her inspiration comes from the shapes and forms she sees in daily life and in nature and is deeply reflected in her ceramics. Her extensive travels have left a mark on the patterns and influences shaping her pots which are ravaged by a raw imperfection. In essence her pieces reflect highly functional stoneware ceramics moving away from a perfectionist reproducible design to allowing the clay to develop the story through subtle guidance.
Wood fired, salt glazed stoneware is made according to an old German tradition from the 15th century: the clay is hand thrown on the wheel, Bisque fired, hand painted and decorated.
Her exhibition opens on Sunday 6 August 2017 at 10h30 for 11h00. The opening coincides with the monthly Pretoria Art Meander when the gallery is open from 10h00 to 13h00 on the first Sunday of the month.
All we can add is that White River is clearly an inspirational, special place to live and work. Long may our talented creatives thrive here.