About The Artist
Swanica Ligtenberg finds a connection with Mother Nature and meaning of life through the creation of ceramic art. Her pieces radiate the warmth of earthenware colors, and express the elegance and harmony of nature through her designs, the interplay between line and form, and surface treatment.
Her interests lie in low-fire techniques, what gives her a great color palette with clay, slips and glazes.
- She engraves decorations in the slip sprayed on the leather-hard clay and glazes it with a clear glaze. (See Techniques).
- The play with color glazes give wonderful combinations with textures in the clay and a crackled glaze. (See Techniques).
- Over the years, she explored alternative glazing, kiln and firing techniques: Horsehair-Raku, Naked-Raku, Pit, Saggar and Wood Firings. (See Techniques).
Each firing offers something special and requires a deep understanding and interactive play to develop and master a unique technique and style.
Special Judges’ Award “Four Seasons” Horsehair Vase at the Mashiko International Ceramics Competition of Japan in 2006.
With the Horsehair-Raku technique one removes red hot pieces from the kiln and applies horsehair or other materials like sugar and feathers, which gives black carbonized lines and imprints, and fumes them with ferric chloride, which results in exquisite warm brow/orange/yellow colors.
“Kamakura-Red Bamboo Teapot” in the International Contemporary Teapot Exhibition in Phoenix, NCECA conference, 2009.
Her “Kamakura-Red" Ware is inspired by the texture and red pigment color of the Kamakura Bori Art (a form of art lacquerware developed from Buddhist carving from Kamakura, Japan). The red glaze symbolizes love, passion and strength. Living in Kamakura with its rich culture and its long heritage of wood carving allowed her to create a unique style, combining the best of the east and the west.
Swanica was stimulated to re-discover the functionality of her work by being in Japan.
The form of the teapot evolved from the research done to define the shape and functionality of a drinking cup.
The magical number three was used to divide the surface and is repeated in the decoration. This number has lots of positive significance, especially the meaning of the three divine principles: light, heat, and life, linking it to the red color.
“Kamakura-Red Bamboo Teapot” in the International Contemporary Teapot Exhibition in Phoenix, NCECA conference, 2009
It is selected for The 2010 International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Teapot Art, Shanghai, China.
It is part of the permanent collection of the “Pot” Museum in Shanghai, China, 2010.
It is permanently displayed in the exhibition hall for international teapots in the Yixing Ceramic Museum in China, June 2011.
Most of her pieces are based on traditional forms thrown on a wheel and then altered.
Her decorative designs are abstract and find a balance in her ceramics piece.
In addition to her “traditional” pieces she finds innovative ways to present her wall art. Her slabs combined with other natural materials create a harmonious work of art.
Her finished pieces hope to stir the curiosity and imagination, and are completed by use and the passing of time.