Werner Bünck: Interview

Until March 4th 2012 the GRASSI Museum for Applied Arts Leipzig is showing Metal.Ceramic.Stone – a retrospective dedicated to the silversmith, goldsmith and glass designer Werner Bünck.

One of Germany’s most influential designers Metal.Ceramic.Stone is the first retrospective of his work since 2003. In the intervening years Werner Bünck has expanded his oeuvre to include ceramics. And so when we spoke to Werner Bünck at the exhibition opening we started by asking about the decision to start working with ceramics. Specifically had it simply previously not interested him as a material ….

Werner Bünck: It was more or less chance. I had the opportunity to create a few pieces and fairly quickly fell in love with the material. And so I started to work somewhat more intensively with it. But ceramics aren’t new to me. I collect pieces of ceramic from various epochs and so am very familiar with what has been and can be done done with the material. However my work is very specific. I cant, for example, turn a vase on a wheel, and I don’t want. My approach is more that I think in an architectural way and build accordingly.

Grassi Blog: And in that sense, how big a role does your training as silver and goldsmith play in your ceramic work?

Werner Bünck: For me the training is very important. When you’re working with silver, alone owing to the cost of the material and the length of the creative process you always aim to make one, optimal object. Which leads to a certain discipline. And for me that is also important with ceramic; just because it’s a cheap material that one can form quickly – doesn’t mean you should! And so working with certain discipline is for me not only important but for me very helpful.

Grassi Blog: And do you notice a development in your ceramics over the past six, seven years?

Werner Bünck: Yes yes! They are becoming more fluid, and technically more challenging and I’m now making much larger objects that can stand alone in a space and function more like a sculpture.

Grassi Blog. And final question. What do you hope the visitors take with them from the exhibition?

Werner Bünck: I would be very happy when the visitors leave the exhibition happy!

Metal.Ceramic.Stone: Werner Bünck – Retrospective can be seen at the GRASSI Museum for Applied Arts Leipzig until March 4th 2012.

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