MY WORK – At the moment, I work mainly with porcelain and stoneware and make hand thrown vessels for rooms and spaces. They should create a delicate atmosphere, an unsophisticated mood – an illusion: I try to give my surroundings a touch of beauty. Even if it is only for a tiny moment.
I found clay many decades ago – when I was 17 years old I made my first tea pot, my teacher at the time, Ms Liu, showed me how – and I still shapes it into vessels: This distracts me and helps to bear many things better.
Whether as an individual piece or as a group of works – I try to find shapes, details and surfaces that irritate, sometimes enchant, also make you think and burn into your memory.
For this to hopefully succeed, I need most of my energy and time: I work slowly, destroy a lot, start all over again. Take breaks. Fractions belong to my path, as do the unexpected and the unconventional.
Anyone who can endure this is right with me.
MY WAY – Born in Switzerland without a swiss passport: I started my work as an independent artist in 1998.
Member of the Swiss Ceramics Association ‘swissceramics‘
2001-2006: Apprenticeship for ceramist
1989-1995: University of Zurich: Art History/German Philology/Philosophy (today M.A.)
1987-1989: ETH Zurich: Architecture Department (today B.A.)
MY THREAD – Many people ask about the meaning of the thread that I have been using for more than fifteen years. Ronnie Watt, art historian, Canada, wrote in 2017 (s. press): .
..‘A signature decorative element which she regularly applies is a length of cotton thread which is looped through a fine hole and over the rim. The red thread is a reference to the German expression ‘der rote Faden des Erzählens’ which can be translated as ‘following your destiny’. With this leitmotiv, explains Ritsch, she ‘brings things together’ and that ‘my works are different, but the red thread holds them together’. At the same time it ‘stitches’ her works to her personal life experiences and philosophy. As a powerful albeit fragile decorative element, the thread is a visual and intellectual accent for a work but is simultaneously integral to that form because it is anchored in it.
And in my words:
helga ritsch, zurich, 2020