Interview: Artist Tatjana Kovacevic-Vidovic shares Secrets of Pottery Craft

Years of love, perseverance and devoted work, are behind the TAKO studio that sells ceramics and in which artist Tatjana Kovacevic-Vidovic creates amazing and unique objects.

Who am I? That is one of the most difficult questions! I think that we change every day a bit, we explore and learn something new about ourselves. Through different functions in life, I discovered myself as a very independent, free, strong as well as too emotional person who does not like authority and who is often indecisive and distracted on too many different sides and projects.”

On the question of what is Mrs. Kovacevic-Vidovic opinion on art, she says that it is a question with no right answer. The art is the ability to convey an emotion, on anything, whether we are looking at an art work, reading a book, organizing a workshop or giving some speech. When the emotion surpasses the object of realization, that is art.

Pottery is one of the techniques of working with clay, the design surpasses the technique itself and refers to other elements such as functionality, communication ideas, visual solutions.

Sarajevo Times: What the artwork needs to communicate and is it necessary for it to have a message?

 “I think that every piece of work should communicate an emotion. How you feel when you look at a painting, a film, when you drink your coffee or tea from a certain cup or eat from a special plate. All of these works, if they are quality, should produce an emotion in us. Whether this emotion will be shaped into a specific message depends on the creator himself and it is inevitable that the person who creates imprints his/her messages into the work even if it is an unconscious act. However, the difference between a “good artist” and a “bad artist” is just about how good they are in conveying an emotion and message to the spectator/user.”

Sarajevo Times: How the pottery survived as an idea in you and why?

“My dealing with pottery is the result of an affinity to work with my hands. Ever since I was a child I always loved to make something with my own hands, to put something together, knit, everything that was related to some kind of handy work. But it took me a long period of time to recognize it and admit to myself that it was my talent. Since I was in the period of using clay as a material, everything just came to its place.”

I would go back to an individual artist because artists make the art of one place, and the way culture and tradition shaped their lives will determine to which extent they will be present.”

Sarajevo Times: The first association of pottery between people is “the old and forgotten craft”. Why is it forgotten?

 “Due to a simple reason: It is not spread as it used to be in our country. A small number of people is familiar with how to work with clay.”

Pottery as a therapy

Work with clay represents an extraordinary stress therapy. Clay is a natural material that has an incredible ability to connect us with our “inner self”. When you are making an item, your concentration increases, you are focused on that moment, and all the other problems disappear from your life, which is a very liberating feeling.

The best part of the day for work with clay is the one when you have the most free time, because time runs extremely fast when you are working with clay.

The process of creation of interesting objects

A great part of the process happens in the head. Thinking, sketching, and it rarely ends up on paper. Mostly when I get an idea, I think about it intensively, not stoppingly, in the morning, during the day, at night, I think about what is the best way to make it, how to shape it, and then I start sketching in the material. New problems are mostly shown in that moment if a different approach or certain type of modifications are required. Then I make several different variants, one of which I probably like and it determines the further flow of my creations.

Life is the thing that inspires me. All the little and great things that surround us, which we experience and leave marks on us.

Currently I am focusing on the work on my new lines of antiPlastic glasses as well as a little more luxurious version of my pendants, but there is always a new line of ceramic pottery or a new workshop going on as well.”

Sarajevo Times: Any special experience that improved your artistic views?

I was very lucky to have a chance to learn from Ruthanna Tudball, an artist and pottery master, at her Mastercourse that took place during my stay in the International Ceramic Study in Kecskemct. This was definitely an experience that marked the way I create and work.

Interview by Amina Avdic, photos by Kemal Softic

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