Inspired by the natural bushland surroundings of her studio in the eastern hills of Perth, Danica Wichtermann’s ceramics collection showcases a sense of place with contemporary, artistic flair.
Her Native Botanical ceramics are created from Australian Southern Ice Porcelain on the wheel to share Western Australia’s unique and beautiful flora. What began as a method to share her home landscape with friends and family in Switzerland has now blossomed into her sought-after range, Rediscover Ceramics.
The hallmark of her designs is the incorporation of foraged natural objects such as seed pods, gumnuts and twigs to create texture and shapes which are hand-carved into the objects.
“I spend a lot of time getting the form of the piece right, through research and designing and then I find the illustrations that fit,” Danica says.
After finding her form, each piece is then dried, hand-carved, fired, painted, glazed, and finally, fired again. The process can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks for smaller pieces and three months for larger pieces, depending on the influence for her work.
Danica’s inspiration to depict botanicals through design and illustration was born from time spent painting and drawing with her grandmother in Switzerland, and also her father, a wood sculptor.
“I had never thought of ceramics, as I had been so involved in painting and drawing while studying fine arts. When the painting class was full, and I enrolled in ceramics instead. Everyone wondered what I was doing,” Danica says.
It is through this class she found her passion for ceramics. While her early designs were abstract, Danica evolved her designs to incorporate a passion for botanicals and making objects with a sense of place, in her unique illustrative and textured style.
“I wanted to bring a more contemporary feel to my more traditional bowls and plates but still retain a feel of the early less refined clays. I wanted the glazed surfaces to somehow retain the coastal feel of Fremantle. I looked for the feel of beach sand, blue sky and limestone – not too shiny.”