Gabriele Hain has been working with porcelain for over 25 years and is still overwhelmed by the feeling of discovery it brings. Her interest lies in the specific possibilities of this clay, with what it can achieve beyond any other material. So she exploits its semi-translucency, creating layers so fine they appear like windows of light set within her forms, and employs its strength to create vessels supported by only the thinnest outlines of a shape. Her practice takes tremendous patience, a process of cutting or gradually carving out fine layers. It is repetitive and meticulous, demanding constant judgment of how hard to push and how far to go. Perhaps there is no other material that can convey with such subtlety the mottled light and rhythm of nature; Gabriella’s inspiration translates through the porcelain, to create the most peaceful and tranquil of forms.
Dr Natasha Mayo is a lecturer at the National Centre for Ceramics, Wales, practitioner, writer and researcher into ceramics and creative pedagogies.