porcelain manufactory - Kerstin Behrens
In her studio in Sukow, in the protected area and nature reserve of the Lewitz, the porcelain painter and designer Kerstin Behrens lets people look over her shoulder while she works.
Even though it is only 14 kilometres away from the state capital of Schwerin, it is still in the middle of the countryside: "This is where I find the images I use to decorate crockery and accessories: native trees, grasses, flowers and insects. But the closeness of the place to the Baltic Sea and the Mecklenburg lakes is also important to me: I also include fish and sails as sculptural motifs in the things that I make."
Even when she was still a student, Kerstin Behrens worked in a branch of the tile works based in Boizenburg. From very early on, she wanted to do an apprenticeship in the stronghold of porcelain: the Meissen State Porcelain Manufactory.
She then studied design in Heiligendamm: "I would like to continue the Meissen tradition, but I'm looking for my own artistic expression." This includes unique hand-painted pieces made according to the customer's wishes, which means that the range of expression is very wide: from simple Nordic elegance to dancing herrings.
The special firing technique produces the hard porcelain that is as hard as diamonds and so also used in laboratories. Thin-walled, shimmering white, filigree objects are the result: "I have made lanterns with motifs of native leaves, in which the candlelight makes the porcelain almost seem transparent: dandelion, oak or lime tree leaves made of light."
Painting on porcelain also creates an interplay of light and colours: "Because of the high level of reflectance of the porcelain, I can apply watercolours on it just as well as I can on paper. This gives me the chance to make the colours very fine, bright and transparent."
Kerstin Behrens likes to pass on her enthusiasm for porcelain painting to her visitors: "In my courses, the people taking part can create their own little works of art made of porcelain; they can discover their own artistic talents and find out what happens in a porcelain manufactory in a very hands-on way."