Did you learn from any masters?
Robert: After my diploma in inorganic technology and ceramics I visited a pottery workshop in Podlasie, in the east of Poland. Two pottery masters, the Piechowscy brothers, showed me their craft. I adopted not only their technique but also their work style.
Monika, how did you come to make your bird figurines?
Monika: Everything about clay I learned from Robert. One time we made ceramic Easter eggs, which Robert threw on the wheel. I took the egg and added a small tail, head and beak. That’s how the first figurine emerged, a kingfisher. Now, the whole collection consists of 30 handmade glazed birds.
© Robert Jehn-Olszewski
What don't people realise about your work?
R: Twice a year we take part in open air art fairs where we do pottery shows. People keep asking us if they can take a raw product and bake it at home. However, the most important process is firing because it requires a high temperature that cannot be obtained in the kitchen stove.
Has there been a particularly satisfying moment in your career?
M: We got a nice order from the municipality of Krakow to prepare pigeon figurines for the World Youth Days 2016. While Pope Francis was in Krakow he was offered several souvenirs to choose from, and he selected our handcrafted pigeons as the best gifts for his Vatican associates.