Ceramic art pieces from the International Pottery Exhibit in Debrecen, Hungary

Photos and text by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, Illinois, USA.

During the early summer of 2016 I traveled to the town of my birth, Debrecen in Hungary.  This time I found a pottery exhibit in the large local mall, so I went with my Mom to check it out.  The title was the IXth International Pottery Exhibit (IX Nemzetkozi Fazekas Fesztival Palyazati Kiallitas).  The juried exhibit showed the variety of the folk art based traditional pottery forms, traditional folk motives in the glazing, and also some new directions for these traditionally trained potters. While there is a number of Hungarian ceramic artists who create modern ceramic art pieces, on the part of the Hungarian people  there is a strong attraction to the traditional forms.

Platters, chargers, and bowls

Platters and chargers (oversize platters) are frequently made pieces by potters in Hungary.  The platters are used to serve food, or to hold fruit, slices of bread.

Platter by Takacs Eszter, Mezotur
Platter by Takacs Eszter, Mezotur

 

I like the white base glaze, and the relatively dark floral glazing.  This piece is about 25 inches in diameter.

 

 

 

 

 

Platters by Les Gabor, Bodony
Platters by Les Gabor, Bodony

 

It’s hard to appreciate the very detailed, elaborate glaze work on these pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowl by Ifj. Fazekas Istvan, Nadudvar
Bowl by Ifj. Fazekas Istvan, Nadudvar

 

This bowl has a unique dark, soot-like glazing.  The darker and lighter areas are achieved by burnishing the surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platter by Magyar Zita, Debrecen
Platter by Magyar Zita, Debrecen

 

The rim of this platter is carved very finely through and through.

 

 

 

 

 

Platter by Szucs Andrea, Tiszafured
Platter by Szucs Andrea, Tiszafured

 

This piece is charting a new direction by placing ceramic figures inside the platter, and by that changing the utilitarian piece to a decorative piece.

 

 

 

 

 

Works by Angyal Kamelia and Donko Karoly, Adony
Works by Angyal Kamelia and Donko Karoly, Adony

 

This bowl is a part of a hand washing set.  The pitcher and soap dish is to the left.  Very unusual purple glaze is used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platter by Les Norbert, Bodony
Platter by Les Norbert, Bodony
Works by Les Norbert, Bodony
Works by Les Norbert, Bodony

The platter on the left is glazed in a very fine pattern.  The pieces on the right show less elaborate pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platter by Czibor Imre, Alsopahok
Platter by Czibor Imre, Alsopahok

 

This large charger had a detailed bird and floral motifs in the center, and traditional floral motifs around the edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platter by Szucs Imre, Tiszafured
Platter by Szucs Imre, Tiszafured

 

One of the smaller platter with some traditional motifs in the center combined with more modern, lined edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works by Hakli Timea, Debrecen
Works by Hakli Timea, Debrecen
Platter by Hakli Timea, Debrecen
Platter by Hakli Timea, Debrecen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her pieces had an insane amount of carving.  Very pleasing to the eye, especially in those dark green colors.

Pitchers

Pitcher by Hornyakne Sila Katalin, Mezotur
Pitcher by Hornyakne Sila Katalin, Mezotur

 

This is a traditional pitcher form.  The light body with sparse pattern and the green lip mad eit look very good.  In the background is the mall environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pitcher by Derecskei Magdolna, Mezotur
Pitcher by Derecskei Magdolna, Mezotur

 

This an old form.  In Hungarian it’s called “Miska kancso”.  The pitcher takes on the shape of a human being.  Notice the lip is a different color (the hat of the person).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works by Orvos Jozsefne, Debrecen
Works by Orvos Jozsefne, Debrecen

 

The two pitchers on the right are of the male (in the back) and female (in front) form.  The pitcher on the left is very elaborate with four large handles.  The glazing is very dark brown/green; typically not used to decorate an entire piece.

 

 

 

 

Works by Szucs Henriett, Hajduszoboszlo
Works by Szucs Henriett, Hajduszoboszlo

 

More traditional pitcher forms with white base and floral motifs. The pitcher in the back has a lid.

 

 

 

 

 

Pitcher by Ifj. Fazekas Istvan, Nadudvar
Pitcher by Ifj. Fazekas Istvan, Nadudvar

 

This pitcher has handles that make it look more like an urn.  Also, the position and shape of the handles resemble ancient Greek and Roman pottery.  The glaze includes soot where the patterning is done by burnishing the surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pitchers by Levai Gabor, Debrecen
Pitchers by Levai Gabor, Debrecen

 

These are about 30 inch tall pitchers following traditional form and decoration.

 

 

 

 

 

Other vessels and decorative pieces

Still by Farkas Gabor, Bekescsaba
Still by Farkas Gabor, Bekescsaba

The large piece on the right is a brandy (palinka) still, about 5 feet tall and 2 feet in diameter.

His works won the “Town of Debrecen Prize”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works by Farkas Gabor, Bekescsaba
Works by Farkas Gabor, Bekescsaba

 

These were rectangular, unusually brown-glazed platter and baking sheets with lids.

 

 

 

 

 

Lidded pitcher by Molnarne Tamas Anetta, Tata
Lidded pitcher by Molnarne Tamas Anetta, Tata

 

Very unorthodox teapot-shaped piece; maybe a modified pitcher?

 

 

 

 

 

Bottle by Molnarne Tamas Anetta, Tata
Bottle by Molnarne Tamas Anetta, Tata

 

Delicately shaped and carved bottle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home altars by Molnarne Tamas Anetta, Tata
Home altars by Molnarne Tamas Anetta, Tata

 

My best idea here is that these pieces are serving as home altars. No explanation was given at the exhibit.

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hangingby Magyar Zita, Debrecen
Wall hanging by Magyar Zita, Debrecen

 

Intensively-carved clay sheet supported by wood backing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drinking vessel by Szucs Andrea, Tiszafured
Drinking vessel by Szucs Andrea, Tiszafured

 

The original ring-shaped drinking vessel was modified by adding figures to it.

 

 

 

 

 

Works by Szucs Judit, Tiszafured
Works by Szucs Judit, Tiszafured

 

Traditional by shape and by glazing, this is a salt/sugar container, and a butter holder.

 

 

 

 

 

Works by Szolanics Erika, Nyiregyhaza
Works by Szolanics Erika, Nyiregyhaza
Mug and saucer by Szolanics Erika, Nyiregyhaza
Mug and saucer by Szolanics Erika, Nyiregyhaza
Works by Szolanics Erika, Nyiregyhaza
Works by Szolanics Erika, Nyiregyhaza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were the most strikingly distinguishable pieces in the exhibit. It is very unusual to see these creations next to traditional pieces.  Ceramic decoration for a bookshelf, jewelry boxes are very unique.  On top of that, the purple hue of the glaze is also very different from all other pieces in this exhibit.  Her works won the “Town of Debrecen Prize”.

 

 

 

 

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