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Lutz Krainhöfner was born in Jena, GDR. Following a traineeship as a plumber he held a range of jobs from building brass instruments to working in social care. In the early ‘90s he became a volunteer with the Taizé Community, which he joined as a full member in 1994.

That momentous year also marks the beginning of his involvement with pottery. For nearly eight years he immersed himself in the Community pottery. Then in 2002 he was accepted into the studio of Daniel de Montmollin, where he completed his artistic apprenticeship and rounded his development until his move to the UK in 2010.

Lutz lived and worked in Hemel Hempstead, England, and has run the ceramic studio in the Art & Design Department at Watford College and Camphill St Albans pottery, as well as teaching ceramics at the Steiner school Michael Hall at Forest Row. Now he moved to Somerset

where he is setting up his studio.

 

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The essence of my work lies in the search for beauty in often ignored natural materials. In my work I discover it in the surprising colours and structures that emerge when minerals, earth and ashes are combined and fire melted, and in the way stone evolves as it is polished.

When I was a child my grandfather taught me that to watch closely is to learn. He was a wood carver. I used to watch in amazement as he transformed material with his hands.

This wonder at the transmutational powers of matter only deepened as I handled metals during my first two apprenticeships. My awareness of hidden, interior worlds on the other hand comes from learning to work with disabled people, assisting them to develop their potential.

Before the fall of the Wall the arts scene around me had been one determined and fostered by the communist regime; now I was confronted with something entirely new. My continued experiments with various materials were now influenced by the nearby Bauhaus, and also by my brother Robert Krainhöfner and his work on sculpture and art in the public space.

My ascension into the Taizé Community, the sharing of monastic life and work of the Brothers, had a lasting influence. Their life is one of silence and closeness to nature. Here I found space to reflect on my work so far, as well as the time to pursue my artistic calling.

First I devoted myself to my long time hobby, photography, and some of my photographic observations were published.

Later I began working with Frère Daniel de Montmollin, a well known French potter. It was here whilst throwing on the wheel, developing new glazes and studying such techniques as the smoke-firing and polishing of pottery and stone, that I developed new insights into the relationship of man and matter. I learned that working on otherwise negligible materials could transform them into precious objects that invite closer inspection with hand and eye, offering the discovery of hidden worlds, such as the play of light on varying surfaces, or the sensation of shape, stability or weight.

Now based in Somerset my work continues to centre around the techniques of burnished and smoke-fired pottery and polished stone, as well as the research and development of stoneware glazes. Today I challenge the idea of ‘useful’ pottery by removing the functionality of vessels as they develop on the wheel, e.g. by closing them. Thus my work is moving more and more towards sculpture. The resulting objects of fired clay increasingly reveal their relationship to stone. Contrast develops between natural, emulated or found shapes and the wheel thrown, involuntarily geometrical form.

My aim is to explore those similarities and differences.

Exhibitions

2005   Lille, Galerie Geneviève Godard

2006   Guebwiller, Musée de Florival

2006   Jena, Rathaus

2007   Peisey Nancroix, Galerie Geneviève Godard

2008   Jena, Rathaus

2009   Mâcon, Galerie Mary-Ann, Hôtel de Ville

2009 to 2011 One thousand and one cups, contemporary ceramics

The Exhibition tour 1001 cups

Icheon World Ceramic Center,   1 June- 15 July 2009

India, Crafts Museum, New Delhi, 1 December – 31 December 2009Korea,

China, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, 5 March – 11 April 2010

France, Musée de la Ville de Biot,   1 – 30 September 2010

Viaduc des Arts,   Paris, 7 October – 12 November 2010

Musée la   Piscine, Roubaix, 1 December- 28 February 2011

Switzerland, Musèe Ariana, Geneva,    April- July 2011

Musèe des   Beaux-arts, La Chaux-de-Fond, 25 September – 13 November 2011

2012   Jena, Galerie Huber & Treff

2013   Paris, Galerie Quincampoix

2013   St.Albans, Ian Rastrick Fine Art

2015  Frome, Galerie Naismith Robertson

Photography

Discovered Hands, (Mani Rivelate, Mains Révélées, Offenbarende Hände), 2008,  Grafica Pinizotto, Piantedo, Italia

Clay Shared, Key Words for Accompanying Creativity, 2009,
Editions la Revue de la céramique et du verre, Vendin-le-Viel, France

Pierres habitées, Daniel de Montmollin, 2009,
Editions la Revue de la céramique et du verre, Vendin-le-Viel, France

The Barbotine Game, 2010,
Editions la Revue de la céramique et du verre, Vendin-le-Viel, France