I remember being surrounded in the 1950's by the magical shapes and colors of vases, bowls and ashtrays. These childhood impressions awoke my interest in ceramics, which I consider an important form of human expression. Some ceramics carry strongly the spirit of the maker & period.
The Tibetans call this "Drala", which can be translated as "the magical essence (soul) of things" (the creations containing a hologram of the maker-decorator). Because little information on ceramic marks is available, I decided to create a photographic signature database of European Ceramic Artists, Work-shops & Factories. It also will provide background information on their life and mutual relationships (by end 2011). The site is divided by country and period-style of the 20th century.
I hope to share my knowledge with you through this website and if you have additional information or some interesting marks that I can publish, please don't hesitate to mail me (if you don't mind a late or slow response).
Happy browsing! - Nic
Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty
only because there is ugliness... (Lao Zi, Dao De Jing)
Another way to look at forms
"Tibetans have a word, drala, which means the magic of things. It is the quality of almost sacred presence that the world has, when our attention is more engaged with perception than with our conscious or unconscious preoccupations.
We can experience drala at any moment, but we seem to experience it most easily in the presence of art and nature. This is because art and nature both present us with rich surfaces that attract and then absorb our attention. We do not experience drala by simply staring at things. Staring displaces our conscious thoughts but doesn’t displace our internal preoccupations.
We see drala when looking is so interesting and enjoyable that everything else momentarily seems to vanish. Something else happens when we experience drala. As long as our attention is absorbed, the separation between ourselves and the object of our attention disminishes.
We begin to experience new feelings, images, sensations. With some practice we recognize that they are different from our usual personal responses, and that they originate with the object of our attention through our relation to it".
source : Exhibition catalog 1987, The Hague Museum,
Meiji, Japanese Art in Transition, society for Japanese Arts & Crafts,
essay by Roger Keyes