Featured Artist: Anja Penger-Onyett
Anja Penger-Onyett started working with ceramics over 25 years ago. She attended ceramics weekends and evening classes in Germany and Switzerland and in 2008 she became a full-time potter.
Most of her work is thrown on the potter’s wheel using white stoneware clay; which can be fired to high temperatures and allows the colours of the glazes to come through.
Anja is passionate about Japanese and Chinese style pottery and admires the glazes, the Celadon, Tenmoku and oxblood copper red colours; all made from traditional Chinese recipes. She is fascinated by the alchemy of reduction firing in her gas kiln. The transmutation of dull minerals into exciting deep colours and surfaces that have to be touched.
At a certain point during the firing the atmosphere is starved of Oxygen done by closing a damper over the flue exit. This creates a reduction atmosphere and the oxygen-hungry flames have to find the oxygen from the glazes. Magically copper green turns into red and iron honey-brown into greens or blues. She mixes all her own glazes from raw materials and never stop experimenting!
Her beautiful work is functional (Bowls, Vases, Plates) as well as decorative/sculptural (Meteorites, Elemental). As all her work is fired at high temperatures, her decorative work can be kept outside all year round.
She is an active member of Anglian Potters and since May 2008 held the position as the selected member’s secretary. April 2012 saw her become a selected member. Anja is also a member of the artist-led Eagle Gallery in Bedford. She will also be part of Herts Visual Arts Open Studios in September 2015 at the Mardleybury Gallery in Datchworth.