How was your time in Japan?
My time with my Japanese master, Mr. Yasoji Sasaki, has left a deep impression on me. At the beginning of my apprenticeship, I turned cups every day, which were destroyed again in the evening until at some point their shape was good enough to be fired. However, I think my real teacher was the Japanese culture in general.
How did the Japanese culture influence you?
Many of my master's clients came from Kyoto, often students and their tea masters or Buddhist monks. They bought tea bowls and other vessels. I was able to learn and experience how vessels were viewed, examined and considered beautiful or not. I immersed myself in a school of seeing from another cultural perspective. This gave me a deep insight and later helped me a lot to develop my own view of ceramics.
© Eddie Schneidermeier
What impact did this experience have on your later work?
I wanted to make vessels that on the one hand conveyed something timeless, and at the same time were accessible and useful within the European culture. I had no desire to imitate typical Japanese ceramics, which are considered exotic here in Europe. I was rather interested in developing vessels that would work in the here and now, and would enrich the lives of the people who bought my ceramics.
Would you consider this transfer as an innovation?
In a way, for me the innovation lies in the development of my own design language. Especially with the built vessels, I have created a repertoire of unique prototypes over the years. One could perhaps say it is my creative reaction to our time.