“A material that makes you happy”, that’s how Petra Kobrow calls the smooth clay, which she transforms into bowls, cups, vases and jugs on her turntable. In addition to the satisfaction that comes from working creatively with clay, the potter appreciates the archaic quality inherent in the material: “The oldest ceramic find is a good 20,000 years old.”
Closely related to the four elements
The material is closely linked to the four elements. Petra Kobrow shapes the clay that comes out of the earth with the help of water. It dries in the air and is burned in a fire. Which handicrafts could be closer to nature?
The route to her small pottery workshop in Wiehl-Faulmert was not exactly straightforward for the native of Berlin. She completed two apprenticeships, as an administrative inspector and as a translator, and each time she felt that she hadn’t got there yet. The jobs in the offices offered neither the desired freedom nor the desired creativity. Pottery courses in Cologne and Bonn let her see a perspective over time that would make her happy in the long term. Petra Kobrow began an apprenticeship with the Reichshofer potter Wim Weber, also learned from Tessa Lekebusch and Rainer Brodesser in Nümbrecht and was then not only at home in Oberberg in 2002, but also a companion.
In 2008 the woman from Wiehl started her own business. Today she sells her individual pieces under the name “Ton in Ton” in her Faulmerter barn, also on the Internet and in the Overather “Kunstgerei”. And she maintains contacts: “From 2008 on I worked for several years with physically and mentally disabled women in pottery courses. From 2013 I was part of the team of creative women who organized the exhibition ‘Textiles, Ton und Perlenglanz’ twice a year in the Denklinger Burg, ”reports Kobrow. Standing still is out of the question, which is why last summer she started an apprenticeship at the technical college for ceramics in the “ceramics city” Höhr-Grenzhausen, which she would like to complete with the master’s title. “If I keep broadening my horizons, I will gain much greater freedom to implement my ideas,” she is convinced.
The broad spectrum of creative options that is imparted to her in this part-time training is an important step in creative work. She is currently developing a ceramic in pastel tones with engobe painting, which she combines with stamping technology, each piece is unique at the end of the process.
Of course, she too was badly shaken by lockdowns. Petra Kobrow is actually a person who values direct contact with people very much, who likes to discuss wishes, and enables customers to pick up bowls before buying. When that was no longer possible, she was forced to try selling on the Internet and had positive experiences with a virtual market.
But she still prefers the analogue, which is why she opened the “Kunstgerei” (Lindlarer Straße 90) with colleagues in Overath-Immekeppel a few weeks ago in the rooms of a former butcher’s shop. There the team also offers other creative people space and the opportunity to present and sell pieces made of clay, wood, wool and wire.
Petra Kobrow also comes into contact with people during the pottery courses that she offers. She introduces a maximum of two people to the basics of turning ceramics.
Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by www.ksta.de.
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