HAPPENESS IN A BOX Elisabeth Minichbauer

MASTER CERAMIST AND CERAMIC DESIGNER

Stockerau Austria

Elisabeth Minichbauer

I am Elisabeth from Stockerau, Austria; master ceramist and state-certified ceramic designer, with a workshop and small shop at my home. Even as a child I loved to do handicrafts, sewing, painting and tinkering. I wanted to continue this joy of handicrafts later in my profession and decided to become a ceramist. After graduating from high school, I began an apprenticeship as a ceramist in a company producing tiled stoves. There I learned the construction of ceramic works and the production of tiles. Turning the potter’s wheel I learned through my persistence - - tackling the fundamentals after working hours in long night shifts. After a few years as a journeywoman in the tile stove workshop, I decided to go to Höhr-Grenzhausen in Germany to train as a ceramic designer. This was like a revelation, a mecca, an enlightenment. Ceramists from different countries with all kinds of ideas, views, and possibilities poured in on me and I could draw from the fullest. Wonderful! In my final year, I chose the topic: "Glück in Dosen", "happiness in jars" - - jars for dildos and vibrators, as my final assignment. Admittedly, it was daring and provocative, but I realized everything from planning, design, development, mold making and decoration to the exhibition presentation, and was awarded the graduate prize for it. Right now I am producing pots for menstrual cups, which is also a needed product. I subsequently completed the Master Craftsman's examination and now work independently producing dishes, tiles, plant pots and various ceramics to order. I use German stoneware clay, self-produced engobes and transparent glazes. Printing techniques appear again and again in my works and - - since sketching is one of my hobbies - - drawings or small texts can also be found on the ceramics. My two electric kilns (200 l and 38 l) were chosen for pragmatic reasons: turned and ready to go. In the developed local area where I live wood stoves are not allowed. A gas stove needs a lot of attention and time - - two things I did not have with two small children. When working, I like to be alone, submerged and listen to beautiful music; and partially forgetting the world around me, I am in a meditative mood. In such an environment, thoughts can fly, and that's how new things come into being. Working with clay opens up so many possibilities. I am forever trying out new techniques, shapes, colors and decorations. However I resisted much in the beginning, but now, I like to organize courses and pass on my knowledge and expertise to interested laypeople. I notice again and again that good and well-founded courses are scarce. People get to potter, but there is a lack in the passing on of knowledge about the material. And this is exactly what I consider important, so that not only "kiln corpses" are created, but that joy and enthusiasm are perpetuated. I find my inspiration in everything - - who or whatever surrounds me, what happens around me and who or what I see. Each day brings new discoveries and livens my curiosity. Then, when it is time to open the finished kiln, my heart beats faster. How did everything turn out? It is so satisfying and fulfilling that I am still happy to be a ceramist after 30 years.

BOX

CONTAINERS FOR MENSTRUAL CUPS
Commonly used sanitary napkins and tampons pollute, both in the production phase and in their disposal and can also cause allergies and infections. Beyond this, they cost a lot, considering the large number that every woman will consume during her fertile life. Instead, a single silicone cup, to simply be emptied and washed after each use, to be sterilized like a normal teat at the end of the cycle and to be stored in an elegant handmade ceramic container, represents for many women an alternative of ecological, economic and hygienic value, a truly "green" choice. Amalia Ferrigno
Amalia Ferrigno

IMAGES

Teapot Menstrual cup containers Detail Vibrator boxes Euphoric girl Butter dishes Small plates

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