Sylwia Kolasinska

My fascination for ceramics was kindled from the first moment I touched clay, this would have been in 2004. I have always enjoyed working with my hands and have experience of other mediums such as stained glass, but it was clay that truly got under my skin. As there were no courses available to me at that time and I found literature hard to come by, I began by experimenting and exploring what I could do at home.

Clay work inspires me in ways I’ve never had before: wherever I look, I see potential for art and expression, every leaf is a perfect mould for my next sculpture, every piece of tree bark would create a fascinating piece if pressed into clay. My fascination with ceramics constantly evolves, incorporating all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained throughout the years. Over the next few years I explored the limited opportunities in Poland to develop my understanding, skills and techniques by developing a network of local potters and seeking advice and support.

sylwia-profile

As a self-taught potter I learned by understanding my mistakes. I experimented with a lot of different pottery techniques, hand building, slip casting and throwing. I explored glazing and firing somewhat randomly due to the limitations of the old kiln I installed in my living room. I visited Michal Puszczynski in the summer of 2006 and saw his work fired in a wood fired kiln. I was immediately excited by and oriented towards this firing technique; this experience, firing pieces in a Tongkama kiln, remains a highlight in my life.

For me, the work becomes something that needs to be thought about, studied and understood. I find working with fire enthralling and know this is the way forward for me as a potter. Since then I have been striving to learn about and experience the wood firing process. I have built several Raku kilns, the most recent, built in an old oil drum, works quite well. My work is an area where I feel I encounter original, primordial, pristine matter, the elements of earth and water, fire and air, and the studio becomes an arena of alchemical transformation which I find endlessly inspiring.