This summer I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Poland to intern with Marek Cecula (pronounced like 'set-su-a' as i found out). The trip lasted for one month. Mostly I was working with him, Edyta Cieloch and theyre two college interns in their studio and teaching a wheel throwing class at a local community studio which Marek oversaw. Marek and Edyta were excellect, very hospitable, which made for a very easy acclimation into Polish culture. The language barrier was difficult at first, but they helped me order food most of the time until i figured it out.
I learned a lot about how a product design business is run. I learned about outsourcing and the primary role of a designer which is the prototype and how outsourcing keeps the designer thinking about the product and new ideas with out being weighed down by the process of manufacturing. This was an ideal situation that i was able to witness. We worked in a small but very efficient studio and i was able to watch from start to finish the creation of a new product line for 'Modus Design.
I also learned a lot about Marek's conceptual thinking in his fine art installations and products through many long discussions over coffee and Polish pastries. We spoke about the landscape of contemporary ceramics in America vs. that of Europe and how the histories of the material in both places was presented so differently e.g. the Art and Craft studio potter in America vs. the ceramics industry of Europe and how one might go about being progressive in either instance.
I believe that my view of my role as an artist changed while i was there. Where not more than a year ago i still dreamed of owning a pottery studio or at the very best a nice career teaching at a university, I now dream of one day creating a new design for Rosenthal Porcelain or working in a product design collaborative or running a product design company stretching my limits to create in the Bauhaus mentality of making art for everyday life in collaboration with industry.
Beside all this, and most important of all, i made lots and lots of friends who i plan to see in the near future and still keep in contact with. And thanks to all of them my experience of Poland was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone who is will to take a risk for an awesome adventure!