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Peder Rasmussen
Danish studio potter

Danish ceramist Peder Rasmussen´s twelve sphere-shaped vases in the museum KERAMION in Frechen have evolved over the past two years. They emerged as a reaction to twenty years of working with form and ornamental decoration solely. In the early eighties the Danish artist worked a lot with the human figure, with a kind of post-pop painting on the pots. Now again he recognized a need to induct story, content and sometimes meaning into the works. But the overall intention still is – as it always was - the making of beautiful, decorative pots.

The shape had to be simple to make room for the decoration, and the sphere has the advantage, that it almost automatically leads the spectator to take a tour around it. And it is a shape that provides you with a lot of painting space. A small foot and a hole at the top: there you have the perfect three-dimensional background – as ideal for the potter as the square canvas is for the painter.

Some of the decorations on this new series of vases derive from Rasmussen´s interest in the connection between ornament, letters – sometimes text - and the human figure. However they are not linked up by a general, continuing story – they are all individual works with each their special motif and atmosphere.

Some motifs are very straightforward: A man walking, jumping, tumbling and falling – accompanied by these same words. Other motifs tell simple stories about relations between boys and girls - or men and women. One motif directs you around the pot to discover the content of a spiral shaped, continuing story; another can be read as a four-chapter story. And others depict dreamy conditions - like people flying around in their own peaceful worlds. The atmosphere of some of the motifs is indeed one of weightlessness and tranquillity.

All the vases are made in a plaster mould, and all are more or less the same size – ca. 55 cm (21.7 in.). A black German earthenware clay is used under a slip-decoration, which has been both painted and engraved – the so called sgrafitto technique. All vases are glazed with a classic, glossy lead-glaze fired at 1025 C.

The exhibition Peder Rasmussen: Globes will be on view at the KERAMION Foundation in Frechen, Germany from May 7 – July 30, 2006.


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