Arnold Annenhas been for years one of the internationally renowned ceramicists. He was born in 1952 in Gstaad, Switzerland, and was trained at the Design School in Bern, and later he apprenticed himself to Jean-Claude de Croussaz and Pierre Mestre. In 1989 he set up his studio in Basel.
Arnold Annen is best known for his work with porcelain from Limoges. Over the years he has been perfecting his technique for making distinctive, paper-thin porcelain bowls, whose translucent property is unparalleled in the world of ceramics. His method demands a disciplined approach and an extremely high standard of craftsmanship. Due to the extreme thinness of the bowls it is impossible to rectify mistakes and even the slightest air bubble will ruin the work. Everything must be done at exactly the right stage and this demands absolute concentration throughout the whole process. The result is wafer-thin, translucent and subtle shadow play, “white gold” as some critics have called it.
Since 1993 Annen’s work is no longer limited to the small scale. He started with the development of large porcelain objects, with a special attention to the spaces, the volumes and the interspaces. A few years later his first fossil primal forms came into being. He gave them names as Stichtyomitra or Archaeodictyomitra, as the microscopic single-celled organisms that lived in the sea millions of years ago. These objects show a different kind of transparency. They are rough, skeleton-like, with powerful shadows. The reduction firing at 1250°C burns the material, whereby hollow patches are created, breaches, cracks and crevices and the work seems to almost break apart.