Ruty Benjamini 2018
“I have just come back from Poland where for the last 3 weeks I participated in the 54th International ceramics and sculpture Symposium in Boleslaviec.
Boleslaviec is a beautiful historic town in Lower Silesia. It is situated in Bobr valley near to Poland’s borders with Germany and the Czech Republic. The town has been famous for its ceramics industry since the middle ages. The numerous ceramic factories produce a typical stoneware tableware decorated with colourful stamped and painted dots and designs. The industry attracts many designers and artists, and with its many monuments and attractions, many visitors and tourists. A yearly ceramics festival is held in August with parades and performances, stalls selling ceramics from all over Poland, a huge antique market, music concerts and more.
The International ceramics and sculpture symposium is sponsored and supported by The municipality of Boleslaviec, The Boleslaviec Cultural Centre – International Centre of Ceramics and 3 local ceramic Manufacturers:
– Ceramic Plant “BOLESŁAWIEC” Sp. z oo;
– “Artistic Ceramics” Artistic Handicraft Cooperative;
– Stoneware factory “Manufaktura” Sp. J. Smolenski & Animal
The symposium is a unique opportunity to be part of a multicultural exchange between artists, and the residents and visitors to the town.
This year, the 11 invited artists came from Poland, Uk, Israel, Italy India, Australia and Norway.
We were provided with accommodation, bicycles, and a tasty daily lunch. We had an opportunity to create artwork in either one of the factories, or the studio in the international ceramic centre.
The program of the symposium included exhibitions, private views, lectures, presentations, excursions and banquets.
We were treated as celebrated guests of the town. We were interviewed photographed and filmed for national and regional TV, newspapers and website. It was a lot of fun!
During the ceramic festival, we took part in outdoor wood firing of a dragon kiln, built and fired by our leader of symposium and king of fire Mateusz Grobelny.
I worked in the large well-equipped studio in the international ceramic centre situated at the top of the cultural building- BOK, offering a great choice of clays, colours and glazes, as well as lovely views of the town. It was a very creative and stimulating environment.
Using the wonderfully versatile red Shamot clay, I made a group of 3 coiled “Venus” vessels and partially decorated them with some traditional Boleslaviec blue stamps- they are Boleslaviec Venuses.
The other composition I presented for the final exhibition is made of 3 vessel within a vessel group titled “Space within Space.
It is partially thrown and stretched in a similar way to my Angel Eggs.
The exhibition at the White Gallery at the cultural centre opened on August 25th and was there until October 1st. It will probably travel to another town later on.
The other exhibition of the symposium is titled “Before and After” it is an exhibition combining the work created at the previous edition of the symposium in 2017, with artwork that this year’s participents brought from home. It is in the gallery of the historical town hall( Ratusz) until October 1st.
My “Loungers” are exhibited there and attracting a lot of attention.”