Porcelain taken to extremes

The Swiss Potter Arnold Annen

Born in 1952 in Switzerland, Arnold Annen is undoubtedly an “extremist” on the contemporary ceramics scene. He has won numerous awards worldwide and been a member of the Genevan Académie Internationale de la Céramique since 1994. After many years of journeying around the globe, this ceramist extraordinaire discovered the material of his life in the atelier of the Dutch artist Barbara Nanning in 1984: porcelain, to which he has been dedicating himself exclusively ever since. Working in his own workshop in Basel since 1989, the innovative pottery extremist and obsessive tinkerer has consistently been challenging the “white gold” as a material, using downright revolutionary techniques and taking it to almost its molecular limits. Originally creating breathtaking wheel-thrown vessels from colored porcelain clay using the “new neriage” technique, he now focuses solely on pure-white, translucent and usually unglazed Limoges porcelain. Using a knife, he shaves the already ultra-thin walls of large bowls down to the thinness of a membrane, or he uses a gas torch to work on footless, parabola-shaped cast vessels, blasting off fragments and thus perforating their walls, as well as reducing their thickness to mere fractions of a millimeter. The results are surreally translucent bowl objects of radiant beauty, which Arnold Annen also presents in groups as lighting installations. In addition to his huge, thorny wheel-thrown sculptures inspired by the siliceous skeletons of radiolarians and crafted from porcelain clay with pieces of cork or charcoal incorporated, this lighting magician will design such an installation specifically for his exhibition at the Marianne Heller Gallery in Heidelberg.


  • Galerie Marianne Heller
    Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 2
    Im Stadtgarten
    69117 Heidelberg
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