On a trip to Australia late last year I visited the Duldig Studio and sculpture garden in Malvern East, a suburb of Melbourne. This location is fairly hidden on a normal suburban street, only the unique sculpture scattered on the front lawn gives you a clue to what lies behind the front door of this property.
This is the former home and studio of sculptor Karl Duldig and his wife, artist and inventor, Slawa Duldig née Horowitz. Karl was born in Poland and later moved to Vienna when he was a child. While studying under noted Austrian sculptor Anton Hanak he met his future wife Slawa Horowitz. Both were talented in many aspects of art and lived a life of constant creativity, literally immersing themselves in the creative process on a daily basis. Whilst Karl focused heavily on sculpture, Slawa dabbled in design and painting and went on the invent a new type of folding umbrella. Many of the furniture and objects inside were designed by her, which are modular in form and have a Bauhaus inspired look that’s even relevant today.
As you make your way to the back of the property Karl’s original studio resides there, a place in which he experimented with sculpture and pottery using mainly terracotta clay. These sculptures can be seen in the garden, as well as some metal ones that have been casted from these original clay versions. The whole setup is not only inspiring because of their output as artists, it’s also wonderful to see how they integrated themselves in to a creative environment and lived and breathed this mentality their whole lives. A must visit if you’re ever in Melbourne.
19 April, 2017
10 March, 2017
2 February, 2017
I was told about a famous potter’s house in the centre of Kyoto that was supposed to be one of the only traditional town houses still left in Kyoto. So following the advice given to me I made my way on a rainy day, and there, just off a side street, was a fairly inconspicuous entrance that set the tone for the whole property.
As I walked in I was instantly struck by the aesthetic inside, a dark wood interior that’s built around a central opening, penetrating right through the middle of the build. Not only does this make the building incredibly cool on humid days, it’s also functional in terms of letting in light and creating a feeling of space throughout the property.
Building and setting aside, the contents were just as inspiring. This was the house of Kawai Kanjiro, a Japanese potter who was a key figure in mingei and studio pottery movements, which included Bernard Leach, Shōji Hamada and others. Not only does this property still showcase some of his works in a natural setting, it also highlights his studio and a big climbing kiln that are situated towards the back of the property. Inside features some of his sculptures and woodcarvings, which also use natural materials and let nature speak for itself. Another theme in this property.
The ceramic work made by Kawai Kanjiro is different to my own personal style, but I appreciated these differences and loved the simplicity and functionality in all the forms. I was also struck by how his life and work fused in to one, the simplicity in his work fed in to his life and helped direct his way of living on a daily basis. This is definitely something I will take away from this visit and will try to apply to my own life.
“Everything that is, is not. Everything is, yet at the same time, nothing is. I myself am the emptiest of all.” – Kawai Kanjiro
25 January, 2017
13 January, 2017