Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Born in 1955 in the Netherlands, Swanica was influenced by a long family tradition of goldsmiths, painters and musicians. While studying and working as a child educator, she applied art as a therapy. Admitted to “L’ecole des Arts Decoratifs” in Geneva, Switzerland, she became immersed fulltime in the art of drawing, throwing, forming, decorating and glazing ceramics. Her early works include a study of Mexican figurines as well as “Delft Blue” ceramic ware. She had her first show in Switzerland and her first American show in New Jersey. She had her workshop in California but moved to Japan in 2006. Since 2009 she established a new workspace in her house in Kamakura and opened her “Swan Art Gallery” in January 2010.
Swanica finds a connection with Mother Nature and meaning of life through the creation of ceramic art. Over the years she has explored various glazing, firing and kiln techniques. Her use of horsehair and color makes her work unique and pleasing. With the horsehair raku technique one removes red hot pieces from the kiln and applies horsehair or other materials, and then fumes them, which results in exquisite colors. Her pieces radiate the warmth of earthenware colors, and express the elegance and harmony of nature. She won awards in Mashiko and Mino for this horsehair raku technique.
Most of Swanica's pieces are based on traditional forms thrown on a wheel and then altered. Her designs, which are abstract and a play between line and form, and surface treatment, find a balance in her ceramic work. She finds innovative ways to present her wall art. Her current work is influenced by Japanese ceramics and traditions.
Her “Kamakura-Red Ware” is inspired by the texture and red pigmented color of the Kamakura Bori Art. The multi-layered red glaze symbolizes love, passion and strength and was developed before she moved to Japan. Living in Kamakura with its rich culture and its long heritage of wood carving allowed her to create a unique style, combining the best of the east and the west.
All of her pieces, both abstract and functional, wish to stir the curiosity and imagination of the observer and their beauty will be enhanced through the use over time.