A hand-built and hand-painted object by Lisa Sandner.
Material: Cream clay, underglaze painting and clear glaze.
Care instructions: Pieces are for decorative use only. Clean with a cloth, do not submerge in water.
Size: 13 x 26 x 12.5cm
THE STORY | A FULL HOUSE
Almost a year ago we commissioned German artist Lisa Sandner to create a collection of hand made ceramics inspired by antique playing cards. We could not have imagined the journey of research she went on to create this extraordinarily rich collection of decorative pieces that we are thrilled to launch.
Lisa Sandner’s aesthetic is one of layered histories. Her work seems to come from an imagined grand house full of dusty boxes containing all manner of stories from generations past. The idea of the antique playing card seemed a perfect source of inspiration for an artist who plays with decoration, mysterious motifs and antique objects.
In her research Lisa realised what an important role German cards played in the late 17th and 18th Century and how rich their pictorial language is. Each decorative platter, planter and vase is covered with motifs that were inspired by cards found in the Catalogue of Playing Cards in the National German Museum in Nuremberg (Germanisches Nationalmuseum).
In Lisa’s research for the collection she became increasingly fascinated by the artists who created these beautiful objects. Skillfully printed with hand carved wooden blocks, often passed down through generations of artists, these playing cards were seldom signed but their makers' names were often recorded.
(Test glazes in Lisa’s studio, inspired by the faded colours of the cards)
“This collection is a tribute to these 17th and 18th century German and Austrian playing card makers that spent their lives making these beautiful objects. In my new collection I have aimed to honour these artist-makers by painting their initials amongst different motifs, for example: C.B. for Carl Andreas Bianchi; J. F. for Joseph Frey and J.N for Johann Nejedly.
Lisa’s research took her further into the Germany of the 17th century with figures such as Johann Baptist Kircher from Bavaria coming alive. He was a prolific artist of playing cards, creating miniature works of art (see below), and his daughter Thekla married another card maker from Berlin and continued the tradition. There are many examples of their works in the National German Museum.
Lisa is an avid collector of paper ephemera from chocolate boxes to old papers. For this collection she discovered the beautiful and often densely decorated wrapping paper of playing cards.
“I had this in mind when painting the space around the vignettes of the ceramics. I could not stop filling up the space with patterns and motifs”.
Many of these decorations refer to the terms often used in card games: for instance the ‘Acorn’ refers to one of the four suits in German playing cards and can be seen throughout the collection.
It certainly is a cabinet full of treats, from flower planters for geraniums, decorative plates and platters, magnificent vases and flat back planters. It’s an ace of a collection.