Studio Keramos

You could almost say that Studio Keramos itself has grown up to become a proper workshop. Its inhabitants are reflected in every room. It may sound strange when one says of a mother of two children that she has grown up. Susanne Worschech grew up some time ago but her path to artistic independence was long, not least because of many years of teaching. After her course at the Institute of Art, Erfurt (teacher training and Art University PH), she did the rounds of Erfurt's various training establishments. First teaching at the Sophien School, then as an assistant at the University, followed by working at the Malschule (School of Art) and the Fachoberschule für Gestaltung (College of Design) she finally arrived at self-employment. However she never tires of saying that all this would never have been possible without the generous support of her husband. In any case her years of apprenticeship and travel have come to an end for now. There are the first masterpieces, which want to be viewed on their own, and here have the necessary space. No, don't worry, the children will continue to be creative in the new studio, and they only have to go a few steps to work in the open. However, in her dealing with the work of others, in her constant striving to create space for the impulses of her students, Susanne has developed so much of her own that now the time has come to give space to her works too. In the meantime her works have distanced themselves from utility. Her ceramic bowls, plates and cups have a strong aesthetic value of their own which puts their usefulness into the background. One is often reminded of Japanese ceramics which are a reflection of earthly harmony and whose outer forms start speaking for themselves. The pictures or reliefs are new, they have freed themselves of any claims on design. Also here, yes, especially here, the Japanese aesthetic shines through: only the unsymmetrical, the rough, the irritating, is completely harmonious; something that shows traces of use or apparent defects. That is why the idea of square pictures (a form that Susanne Worschech favours, not the circle which is generally recognised to be perfect but the square which shows edges and corners) makes sense in a complete series. Here at last it becomes clear that what appears as damage, crazing and cracks, mis-colouring and blisters or foreign bodies in the clay are all intentional, though not planned and directed in excessive detail. When dealing with clay Susanne allows a didactic principle to rule: the creation of conditions that favour the development of certain characteristics. She provokes but she does not force. Nature should show itself even at the highest level of design - the square, the aluminium frame, the structured background, all restrain the attempts to escape. That, which would seem chaotic or senseless on its own, becomes clear in the series. Susanne quotes forms which already exist, hints at dissolution, finds new forms of control. The play of the series of pictures which is continuously oscillating between strict geometric order and capricious outbreaks reveals a new way of seeing to the observer. After a few consecutive pictures the proximity of the neighbouring works is no longer important. Every single picture tells its own story of the struggle between chaos and form.... This seems to be a principle, too. Design, drawing, drafting, shaping mean creating order in a world whose creative principle is chaos, which we humans can only counter with works which create order. German history has taught us many times over where absolute order leads. Luciano de Crescenzo's motto: "I love order in order to destroy it..." could be seconded by Susanne without hesitation.

Dr. Julia Draganovic, DIGIT (German-Italian Society in Thuringia)
on the occasion of the private view on 09.10.1996




Clay - Colour - Light
invention et vanitas

Rolled slabs fragile and firm, bowed and flat, mounted on black backgrounds. There are shadows in the fine relief of the lateral lines, light is caught. White asserts itself over red-orange. Cracks, looking like seams, from outside to white and from white to outside. Coming and going, movement and rest: an image of flowing time.

Frank Nolde, art historian
"Kunsthaus Villa Benary", Erfurt




susanne worschech and the cult of the earth

there are artists who know that they are children of the earth n an earth which sometimes appears in the rawness of rocky poverty n but on which however fruit and flowers flourish n even when they are only desert roses. because n like all roses n they also know how to bloom. and the earth, which brought us forth and bears and nourishes us n and covers us up after death n can be painted in an endless variety of forms and ways n or portrayed. pascal painted it as an endless sphere of which the centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere. However a picture like that can frighten us n because we are used to having fixed points.. in Pascal's writings n tourner's critical edition n that contain crossings out and doubts, "endless" was replaced by "effroyable": "terrible". therefore susanne presents it as finite, square, with a centre that can easily be defined, which re-establishes our security. perhaps we are n at heart n this centre, a centre, from which we are seeking expansion into our surrorundings n and finding it. to grow and to become complete. susanne offers us a fichtean ego n which however she has freed from all idealistic waste. a sphere which endlessly expands, exists just as little as infinity: there is the square n which has a solid and calming effect n it is mostly divided into four parts n perhaps containing the four cardinal points n which give us orientation. and giving us orientation means, to move and search and explore, in order to find ourselves more easily n to rediscover the centre. That's what susanne tells us with her portraits of the earth. And the dreams, which they awake in us, are not screaming dreams n like nightmares n but peaceful, caressing ones, that know how to give us security n the soft security of the finite. And also some intended cracks are not alienating: all in all it is about the coincidences of life, which occasionally lie in wait for us to carve deep notches into our hearts.

Giancarlo mariani
bolzano - october 1997




The birth of tranquility

A square resting on a structured background. Cracks break up the ideal form. They lay a track that the eye follows. Inscribed equilateral triangles reunite into a square at the centre of the ceramic object. Susanne Worschech modifies this motif in the series "Inner Forces". Each object is an unrepeatable individual piece. Her concept includes the randomness of chance in the fine irregularities of the clay, the colouring or the damage caused by firing. As in the Japanese Raku technique the artist imitates nature's act of creation. Instinctively, spontaneously, beauty develops, is almost born under her hands. But her spontaneity is based on rich experience. Craft is a precondition but not the goal of the creation process. In Zen Buddhism, of which Raku is an artistic expression, the question about beauty and the highest truth is answered by reference to the "nothingness". The highest and ever unspeakable secret can be sensed in an unevenness. Why does a crack run this way and not a totally different way? What do forms and numbers mean? The amazed reverence to nature incorporated in the objects is one way to take in the laws of the cosmos. Triangle and square belong to the primeval symbols, which have similar significance in various cultures. The stationary square stands for the material world, for the four points of the compass, the four elements. A triangle can - according to the alignment of the corners - embody the male or female principle. According to Christian mythology the four refers to the four Evangelists or to the rivers of Paradise, the three refers to the Holy Trinity. Surfaces reflect the textures of other materials. In two works the inner forms correspond to the structures of the backgrounds. The tactile stimulus that emanates from the ceramics animates the eye to sense the nuances. A school of vision.

Marlis Schmidt, art historian




The traces of Bauhaus

Susanne Worschech consciously brings the geometry of the Bauhaus aesthetic into her work. Her closeness to interior design and to architecture is evident. Her objects are never ornate accessories but always part of the fittings. In the series of wall objects the geometric form always remains recognisable as the point of departure. Although it has been played with, the form remains encapsulated in a square frame and rests on the ripples of the corrugated paper, which in all the objects ties the inner form to the frame as if with strings....

Cornelie Becker, art criticist
"Thüringer Allgemeine" (newspaper)