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The Surreal Worlds Of Wilfried Maria Blum

 

He lives a life in accordance with nature. In his lovingly designed natural garden you can find horses, falcons, small lizards and insects living in a paradise-like harmony with a huge variety of plants. In the centre of this gem are his house and his workshop, full of surrealist ceramics and bronze works.

 

 

Lizard pot, diameter 37 cm.

 

Everything seems to come from another world, and yet it is so close that it touches your heart and your soul, and walking through this garden is like the enchantment of a “Secret Garden.

 

Frog studies

 

From beneath many a bush or a hidden pond, there are beings peering at you that are so alive that you'd never imagine they are made of ceramics. You can see yourself trying to them carefully to communicate with them and then putting them back very softly. His repertoire of ceramics and bronze objects is huge, ranging from portrait work, satirical pieces, surrealist lizards and squirrels to Japanese Netsuke and Oni.

 

Netsuke objects - Topic: Embryo

Glazes: Ash, engobe, oxide

Size: 3,5 cm

 

W. M. Blum uses a specially prepared vitreous stoneware clay and grogs for his ceramics. The pices are fired in an electric kiln or a self-made wood fired kiln, reducing at around 1280°C. All glazes have been developed by himself and are unique. All works, even the most complicated ones, are fired as entire pieces in a single firing.


His works won several important awards:

 

1981   Richard Bampi Award, 1. prize, Osnabrück 

1989   4Th Annual International Exhibition  Toronto, Award of honour

1990   Posasne diplome, Zagreb

1994   Rheinischer Kunstpreis, 1. prize

          

Over 150 exhibitions in several continents (e.g. a travelling exhibition in Japan covering Tokyo, Arita, Hagi, Seto, Shigaraki and Saporo) have made him one of the most sought-after ceramic artists of our time.

 

 

A photograph of Wilfried Maria Blum during the modelling work for a cast-bronze. Height 220 cm.

 

 

The same subject: “Birth Of Opposites, as a miniature of 24 cm, bronze.

 

 

Subject: “Fight Of Opposites.

Glaze: Ash, engobe, oxide.

Size: 40 cm.

 

 

Subject: Yin and Yang

Stone ware, 1992, height 22 cm.

 

W. M. Blum's fondness of the Japanese mythology is obvious. The photographs on this page can only show a small part of his works. What touches me most are his expressive Oni.

 

 

Oni are beings from the Japanese mythology. They are often shown with sharp claws, wild hair and two horns on their head (similar to our devils).

 

 

In old stories and legends, Oni were shown as benign beings and guardians of hell. In some villages in Japan, ceremonies are still performed to scare off the Oni. People would throw out soy beans at the entrance, and call: “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi! (Out with the daemons! Good luck, come in!), to expel the invisible daemon and prevent him from playing his mischievous tricks on them.

 

 

W. M. Blum created this small Oni sitting on a soy bean, only visible for us bonsaists.

 

 

Strangers should beware and not approach this tree!

 

Just look at this little fellow, what a a sly old dog he is!

 

 

Peter Krebs

 

All photographs by Wilfried Maria Blum.

Address:  53809  Ruppichteroth, Huppach 16, phone:  +49 2295 1686

 

Translation: Stefan Ulrich


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