Ivan Weiss learned to throw a bowl in a small workshop in Hagi in Japan. He describes his experience with throwing a bowl as followed:
"When throwing a bowl, the very first time it appears to be flat, very flat, later slightly larger, and after a lot practice, a bit taller. The fact, that you can make a bowl with your hands and fingers, is a timeless happiness that you never can be tired of."
In the process of throwing a bowl, the lines are important. Ivan tells about his work:
"A bowl has many essential points and lines. The bottom, where the bowl takes its starting point, is very important. It is the point from which the whole shape of the bowl is created and at the same time where the bowls 'face' is revealed by the particular technique and clay. A line from the bottom can run in a horizontal direction, and take a curvature and end up in a vertical line towards the edge. The bowl can thus be shaped by many small lines, which are created from the fingers and tools in the throwing process. The lines produce the internal and external form of the bowl. It is a great inspiration to observe the lines of a bowl in order to get new ideas."
Ivan was initially trained as overglaze painter at Royal Copenhagen, why the decoration has a great importance to him;
"The decoration is very exciting, primarily when there is a symbiotic relationship between decoration and form, and additionally when challenging each other. A denominator of my decorations has always been an absence of symmetry and a great interest in calligraphic expressions. My paintings are done quickly and spontaneously in order to capture the moment in both lines and colors. I’m enjoying to see how the colors emphasizes the white porcelain and almost makes it luminous, while it appear as small lakes in the decoration. "
"I need to be in a particular mood to decorate - slightly serious and sometimes even sad. I never know when the right "nerve" appears. The time before my exhibitions I’m usually arranging the bowls in long rows. I set up the colors and brushes and make my decision to start decorating the following morning. But sometimes it happens that my subconscious mind is concentrating so hard on decorating overnight, that I’m feeling completely exhausted and unable to decorate the following morning. Then, perhaps a day or two later, I would get into a perfect mood and be determined to shut the doors and turn off the phones. I know it’s important to seize the opportunity and work seriously, because I never know when the right "nerve" appears again. It is a very sensitive process."
Ivan believes it is important to set a date for an exhibition, because it gives commitment:
"I’m really enjoying the time before an exhibition. I usually challenge the boundaries of materials and decorations and I’m filled with a lot of energy. Before the opening, I select my finest pieces of ceramics and arrange them with great pleasure. I remember my mentor Niels Thorsson always told me: 'Ivan, you must keep the best pieces to yourself as a proof of being skilled'. I have always followed his advice."
© Ivan Weiss