Kostas Fifas and Pierre Alain Wolff in their workshops.

Two potters of Paros
spoke to us about their art

  • Kostas Fifas “LEFKES CERAMICS”

Form and design of your ceramics generally follow tradition. Why did you choose this type of ceramic art?

I didn’t exactly choose it. As a child I used to come to Paros and would sit for hours on end watching my uncle work on the ceramic wheel. I had since been enchanted by the dexterity of his hands, the frugality of movement and materials that traditional ways of working require. The outcome had always been subtle and harmonic forms serving usage rather than aesthetics. It must have been some kind of subconscious creation and not cultivated aesthetics. It was all dictated by the way the object was to be used as well as the capabilities and limitations of clay. Later, when I met other potters and their work, I saw that they all worked in the same way and this way of working is what I admired and wanted to follow.

Ceramic art is an international art, is it also an international language?

It surely is an international language since whatever part of the world you look at modern ceramists-sculptors tend to do similar things. In modern ceramic art there are no great differences from place to place so that we can have a “dialogue” among them. It’s the same everywhere.

Your forms are simple, your lines and patterns rather crude, the colours really clear and the general outcome lets off a feeling of joy and vitality. Where do you get your inspiration?

I suppose Paros and its life are reflected in my work. I was fortunate enough to have lived on Paros when it was really pure and luminous with clear colours. This is how I saw it, I still see it and want to keep seeing it. In ceramics, which are based on primitive materials such as water and soil, I like to cultivate elements of simplicity and crudeness. Colours follow spontaneously giving a bright joyful result.

Ceramic art is an international art, is it also a language?

It is an international language. As a means of expression it grows, develops and follows various directions without ever loosing its roots. It is really exciting to recognise it both on archaeological findings and modern ceramic workshops around the world.