Tile workshop in Brieselang



Six tile artists, Maggie Berkowitz, Diana Hall, Charles Allen and myself from England and Elke Ring and Lothar Scholz from Germany met at the Markischer Kunstlerhof, the studio and gallery of Guido von Martens and Renee Dressler in Brieselang just west of Berlin in early November.

The ensuing ten days of work, visits, hospitality and good company was intense, productive, creative and catalytic for all of us. Although we were all from different backgrounds and practices, from replica mediaeval tiling, painters of public and private commissions, delft tiling and relief work, to postmodern painted, printed and abstracted tile pictures, common materials, traditions and practices were a thread holding us together. From cycling through an autumnal forest to the studio each day, a timetable of factory, gallery and museum visits, exhibition openings, drives through and to Potsdam, Velten, Berlin and Spandau, (and the excellent hospitality) we all drew different inspirations and stimuli.

The resulting tile exhibition at the Markischer Kunstlerhof in Brieselang on the final Saturday was a diverse and eclectic affair. Alongside the larger pieces were individual tiles made by the symposium participants for each other, and experimental pieces where individuals had tried out new processes and techniques. The main body of the work will be exhibited next year in the German Cultural Ministry in Brandenburg.

The ripples will surely spread out from the event for many years to come, friendships were forged and networks established so that future events will surely evolve from our time there. Special thanks to hosts Guido von Martens and Renee Dressler, Hans van Lemmen for his organisation, his daughter Johanna van Lemmen for her translation skills which were invaluable for those with no German language training at all.

Paul Scott

ENGLISH TILES IN POTSDAM a report by Hans van Lemmen

As part of the Anglo-German cultural event, the Bauscher Galerie in Potsdam had laid on an exhibition of the work of British painters and sculptors. However, room had also been made to show an exhibition of historical English tiles from my collection ranging from Mediaeval and English Delft to Victorian and early twentieth century Art Nouveau tiles. The tile show was augmented by photographs, slides, posters and books and formed a historical dimension to the tile workshop in Brieselang. The idea behind it was that once visitors had seen the tile exhibition in Potsdam they would go to Brieselang to see contemporary English and German tiles being made. The exhibition was officially opened by the Minister of Culture of Brandenburg on Sunday 2nd November. It was encouraging to see so much interest in English tiles by the German visitors, many of whom asked
earnest questions about what they saw and some even entered into serious discussions about similarities and differences between English and German tiles Several came to Brieselang later in the week to see English and German tile makers in action. Special thanks to Traudi Bauscher, the gallery owner, for mounting such a high quality professional exhibition.

These Extracts are taken from: Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society Newsletter winter1997

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