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©Benvenuto Pobaschnig
©Benvenuto Pobaschnig
©Benvenuto Pobaschnig

Matthias Schawerda

  • Ceramicist
  • Kautzen, Austria
  • Master Artisan
Matthias Schawerda Ceramicist
German, English
By appointment only
+43 (0)6642030656

The stove maker

  • • Matthias builds unique tiled stoves
  • • He uses local materials with special properties
  • • He expresses innovation with form and material

Clay has always been the material of choice for Matthias Schawerda, in his childhood gathered from the dugout of a well in the backyard, then later from the clay pit of a defunct brick factory. The first firing attempts were made in a campfire, but Matthias quickly progressed to work with a simple wood-fired clay oven and sold his first workpieces at the age of 13. “The first objects I made and sold were ordered fakes of “historical Indian ceramics” for an exhibition. The originals could not be delivered from Central America in time, so my replicas were used instead”. At 16 he wanted to drop out of high school and start a ceramics apprenticeship. Influenced by his parents he had to postpone this idea until he was 18, but ever since Matthias has been developing his skills in working with clay and gaining unique experience in building tiled stoves.

Read the full interview


  • ©Schawerda
  • ©Schawerda
  • ©Johanna Folkmann
  • ©Schawerda
  • ©Schawerda
Photo: ©Schawerda
Tiled Stove

The cuboid stove is articulated with a slightly projecting base, a foot cornice on top and a deck cornice with a frieze of notes below. It was commissioned by a family of musicians. In memory of their grandfather, the frieze was decorated with the notes of Dvorak's Humoresque. The glaze colour is a multi-layered, marbled red.

Length 92 cm
Width 105 cm
Height 245 cm

Photo: ©Schawerda

The stove is richly decorated with gilded applications of foliage and flowers. The base resting on eight brass feet forms a square in the view - as a symbol for a stable foundation. The slimmer upper section has a medallion with a dove of peace as its central motif. The upper end is formed by a richly filled fruit basket. This is meant to symbolize the spirituality and wealth of the client. The design was inspired by the drawings of the baroque architect Donato Felice d′Alio.

Height 250 cm

Photo: ©Johanna Folkmann

Hand-turned porcelain bowl with a radiating wave structure. Two stripes of a blue stoneware glaze lie under a copper-coloured birch ash glaze. The play of the flames is reflected in the glaze, which combines all the possibilities of copper reduction: transparent, mint, red and blue. Fired in a wood kiln at 1260° degrees.

Height 7.5 cm
Diameter 33.5 cm

Photo: ©Schawerda
Bowl, carafe and mug

Hand-turned porcelain set with ash glazes in multi-layer application, mixed from beech, ash and vine ash. The colourings with copper, iron and cobalt result in a rich colour spectrum due to the mixtures in the melt. This is enhanced by the natural content of various minerals in the clay. The unglazed areas have a slightly copper-coloured sheen. The coarse clay, textured by Matthias, provides an intense feel.

Height 5 cm
Diameter 28 cm
Height 25.5 cm
Height 8 cm
Diameter 7 cm
Height 11 cm
Diameter 7 cm

Photo: ©Schawerda

Two bulbous teapots with foot and slightly raised rim to the lid. The spout is bulbously stepped, the handle made of bamboo. The speckled glaze of regional feldspathic rock is applied irregularly in several thin layers. The thicker areas are clouded white by undissolved quartz, the thinner areas dent into orange-brown. In between the tongue-shaped pouring pattern, are free areas where the dark, coarse clay shows. Reduction fired in a wood kiln at 1260° C.

Height 5 cm
Diameter 28 cm

Enjoy an experience with Matthias Schawerda

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