The International Woodfire Ceramics Symposium is held each year at the historic watermill in Wittgendorf, Germany. Over the past nine years both well-known and emerging artists from 16 countries have participated in the symposia in this historic region of Upper Lusatia (most of which is in the German state of Saxony). Creating a space for interaction and dialogue in the field of ceramics and other art forms, this international symposium promotes the understanding and appreciation of ceramics and the art of wood-firing in particular.
Hendrik Schöne founded the symposium and still organizes it today. The first symposium took place in 2013, after which Hendrik Schöne built the first Sasukenei Smokeless Kiln on the grounds of the Wittgendorf watermill. In addition to the Sasukenei-gama, the site currently has a small speedy kiln, a soda kiln and several raku kilns. There is also a place for pit-firing. All the kilns were built by Hendrik Schöne. The ceramic studio itself is located in the rooms of the 16th century watermill.
At each symposium, 6 to 12 artists meet for a period of four weeks to work together, create new works, fire the kilns together and share knowledge and experience that goes beyond our individual practices.
The symposium ends with a public outdoor exhibition on the watermill grounds. Each artist donates a work to the collection of the symposium, thereby contributing to the development of ceramics in the region and becoming part of the country’s ceramic tradition.
The watermill is located on the stream called Wittgendorfer Wasser, just a few minutes from the Neisse River in the border region where Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic meet. Accommodation for symposium participants is in nearby guest houses in Wittgendorf and the surrounding villages. During the symposium, the artists may also give lectures and take short trips within Saxony and the neighboring regions in Poland and the Czech Republic.