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„Reduce to the max“ used to be an advertisement- slogan.
So absurd, almost surrealistic, it appears so well does this principle corresponds with the pottery of Christiane Bernstiel. She restricts herself in her art to that which is essential: the plasticity of the form. The glaze of a vessel only serves as a fine skin or a garment, which may be depending on the firing more or less glorious; however, it will never be an end in itself.

The intention is always directed on the single piece: the large vessel or vase, the teapot, the jug or jar; stoneware, fired up to a high 1260°C, or Raku- ceramics, fired at approximately 1000°C.

It makes no difference, if the pieces are thrown on the wheel or assembled; the austere form may be daring or not - each will be clearly articulate showing a foot, a body, a ‘neck’ and sometimes, a head. The pieces are so expressive that they can very well stand alone; that they can be considered like sculptures emanating ease and elegance; and, furthermore, one may find them delightful in everyday use.

Expansive snouts of teapots invite to pour out into delicate cups without a trickle afterwards. Many jugs allowing wonderful flower- arrangements may remind one of birds due to their expressive gesture and character.

The potential use of such an object is, for the potter, the initial challenge, the impulse; in the process of the work it will become a limitation that guards against eccentricities, which the playing with such simple forms like globe, cone and cylinder could lead one to.
Here, the provenance of her formal vocabulary becomes evident: the ceramic art of her parents Liebfriede Bernstiel and Otto Lindig – representatives of the classical modern. In the work of Christiane Bernstiel this tradition does live on – in a very contemporary way.