I create large ceramic sculptures in public space and this is my work.
<ul><li> 1. A L E X A N D R A C E R A M I C K O L K O V A R T W O R K A T E L I E R 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 </li> <li> 2. L A R G E S C A L E C E R A M I C A R T W O R K 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 </li> <li> 3. A L E X A N D R A K O L K O V A T E L I E R largescale cer a mic a rt wor k 20002010 </li> <li> 4. Alexandra Kolkov Atelier is agraphic and plastic arts studio we founded in 1990 with Ji Kolek, initially as aceramic workshop. In the following years Iwent in for sculptural work, in addition to ceramic, more or less utility indoor artefacts. In 1999 Imade the first sculpture for apublic space. Our art studio had been invited by an architect to design apublic space in the centre of Liberec. It was to be designed as aresting place for parents with small children near the downtown terminal for public transport. That experience was astimulus which helped to expand the activity of our original graphic and plastic workshop into arange of further activities designing atypical playgrounds, resting places and public spaces on awider scale. These days the fundamental workload of our studio is in particular about specialising in these projects. I start every new project making acreative layout. Ienjoy interpreting apublic space in anew, surprising, and original way. An element of playfulness is almost always present, mostly coming out of the task settingan atypical playground, acreatively designed resting place for children and parents near the public transport terminal, amunicipal park, and akindergarten or welfare facility garden. It is always an original authors design of the space given, and is never repeated anywhere else. My creative aspect is always the basis of our work, even in the case of our co-operation with architects, or when we are part of amajor urban project. The creative design in my conception is often dominated by large ceramic sculptures. Imake up and create big, mostly colour glazed ceramic sculptures. Ienjoy making simple, large round shapes; Iprefer bright, shiny colours. Our first public contract was primarily to serve children, and it was asuccess; thats why, probably, further ones with the same requirement appeared. Istill enjoy putting myself to achilds position as regards thinking and experience, and it seems quite natural to me. Iam convinced we keep our own childhood not only as amemory, but as asubconscious part of our personality for all our lives. Playfulness is aquality more or less innate to every human being. The fact that we forget it because of the pressure of worries and adult age wishes does not mean that it is not somewhere inside us, and that we do not need to show and enjoy it from time to time. An inspiring atmosphere, concern for an unexpected visual or tactual sensation simply manages to initiate it. Iplay even while Iam working. Single carving in the art studio got beyond my physical potential years ago, and has become ateam matter. Ihave learned anew approach which cannot be used by asculptor moving about just in the territory of astudio or galleryto listen to partners architects, designers, builders and craftsmen who logically enter the process of project development and execution. That has brought further knowledge and inspiring ideas. </li> <li> 5. I use sculptural technique to mould ceramic clay, which is fundamental. However, it does not inhibit me from combining that approach with the mosaic technique which is atraditional, impressive and technologically practicable procedure especially in ceramics and architecture. There are new creative potentials emerging constantly. Ilike to combine ceramic sculptures with other materialsmetal, bronze and glass. Having gained experience, we face new art and technological challenges and experiments. We enjoy facing new challenges to the work with ceramic clay. Sculptures are moulded in one piece or in big parts on the basis of apreliminary model. The final form is cut into pieces which can be mechanically manipulated. Nowadays we use specially adjusted fireclay mixture. Parts of sculptures, hollowed out and dried-up, are fired in electric kilns at 1250 C. Prepared pieces are assembled with the aid of construction technology and put together by filling them with reinforced concrete. We have founded our own construction company which guarantees the assembly and setting of sculptures on site. In more complicated cases we consult with other specialized companies on our technological processes. This book is being issued on the occasion of ten years work on creative projects in the public space. Problems and tasks solved have gradually brought us valuable experience and needed self-confidence, which was necessary to defend our own creative view, and to put through our philosophy in approaching the setting while communicating with investors. Alexandra Kolkov </li> <li> 6. workshop J a nov n a d N is ou </li> <li> 7. This year we have moved our art studio into new premises, anold textile manufacturer in Janov nad Nisou. This larger area enables us to carry out more challenging and extensive projects. </li> <li> 8. installation on si t e </li> <li> 9. sculptures H r a dec K r lov </li> <li> 10. Sculptures in the city park 2008 Client : Hr adec Kr lov Municipalit y </li> <li> 11. village area B ed ichov </li> <li> 12. The public space in Bedichov 2008 client : Bedichov Municipalit y In co-operation with architect Jitka Skalick </li> <li> 13. calvary B ed ichov </li> <li> 14. Calvary 2008 client : Bedichov Municipalit y </li> <li> 15. daddy&mommy Pr ague B u tov ice </li> <li> 16. Daddy and Mommyceramic sculptures 2007 C l i e n t : 13 th P r a g u e C i t y D i s t r i c t </li> <li> 17. animals Pr ague L e t n </li> <li> 18. Artwork in Letn park 20042005 C l i e n t : M u n i c i p a l i t y o f 7 th P r a g u e C i t y D i s t r i c t </li> <li> 19. playground Pr ague St romov k a </li> <li> 20. Artwork playground in Stromovka park 2005 Client : Pr ague Municipalit y </li> <li> 21. public space L iber ec Ro chl ice </li> <li> 22. Artwork in the park 2003 Client : Liberec Municipalit y </li> <li> 23. kindergarten L iber ec | Pr ague | H r a dec K r lov </li> <li> 24. resting place L iber ec </li> <li> 25. Resting place on public transport terminus 2000 Client : Liberec Municipalit y In co-operation with architect Ladislav David </li> <li> 26. vathorst project A mer sfo ort </li> <li> 27. Torii gates in the park 2010 Client: OBV Amer sfoort In co-operation with architect Edzo Bindels, West 8 </li> <li> 28. The book covers the past ten years of the existence of your art studio. You and your husband started running the business just after the revolution, in fact afresh, and these days you are working on international contracts. How has your work developed? As far as Ican recollect, it went really fast. We started immediately after the revolution in 1989. Utility ceramics was at first the means to earn aliving and to gain experience of the craft. We worked, and learned while working. Sometimes we suggested something to somebody, and only then solved the problem of how to do it. We started building aworkshop, and when we finished, we found out it was too small, and over and over again. Frantic work and continuous dissatisfaction with what was achieved is, on one hand, harmful, as you dont have time to do things deliberately and enjoy them; but on the other hand, it motivates and pushes you forward immensely. Anyway, it was also the consequence of the revolutionary time we started in. interview You got from utility ceramics initially to large-sized sculptures for public spaces. What advancement did it mean for you? We got the first contract when an architect invited us, ceramists making statuettes at home, to create adesign for apublic space. It was aprogression towards making our dream come true, so we took advantage of it. After being accepted successfully, we got more contracts. Iadvanced alot in feeling the responsibility for my work which became public property on completion; on the other hand Ialso felt much more satisfied with the results of the effort Ihad made. You are acreative artist who used to work without any limits to your invention. Is the work in designing public spaces still aterritory for free, limitless expression, is it still art for you? Sure there are various approaches. Some people have ambitions to be artists, some emphasize functionality. Idefinitely want our projects to be creative, but at the same time Ihave to respect safety and other rules for production in public spaces. So there are certain restrictions. It is public art, which means art for people. However, that does not mean Icant work without restraint. </li> <li> 29. A lot of your projects are intended for children, how do you find working just for them? The world sorts us into children and adults according to our age. Iadmire the world of children, and the older Iam, the more Irealize that childhood forms an integral part of ourselves, that we keep it inside us for all our lives. What works with children colourfulness, playfulness, aplace for imagination and intimacy, works with adults in the same way. Our first public work which was intended for small children turned out to be used by teenagers and adults as well. We took pleasure in working deliberately with that fact. We respect the parameters set for children, mainly the safety, but otherwise we try not to court popularity, we create aspace for the game as such. These days it has become aspecific feature of our playful public spaces and that might be the reason why we are contacted by other investors who are looking for something different from standardized playgrounds for aspecific age category. It is agreat satisfaction for us to see children and adults playing together in our playground. Your projects are distinguishable; you have built up aspecific style. What has made you do it? The sense of creative expression is something that is given to you. As some people can hear music, Ican see images and shapes floating spontaneously from my soul. Iwatch things around me, often perhaps in the countryside, and Ican see ideas which other people dont even notice, in general. Ican see something in almost everything, it is somehow intangible, it just happens. However, Igot started by work as such. Talent is one thing, but above all it is necessary to think, experiment and work. Further ideas are often born in single work and experience. If Ihad not completed the first project, Iwould not have started the second and third ones. Of course you have to go through the phase of mistakes. Alot of times apiece of sculpture has fallen down, Ihave used the wrong glaze and had to remake something, but you learn from your mistake. That is the only way to become the master, provided that you are God-given. As the old Chinese used to say, you have to make athousand pots to become aceramist and master. It is nice to be an artist, but it is also very important to be agood craftsman and hard-working person. There is no way without that. What art do you like? Did you look for inspiration there when you were gradually finding your own, characteristic style? When Iwas astudent, Iliked arange of artists and styles in fine art...</li></ul>