“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” - Samuel Beckett. This is the motto that forever drives Peter Krebs. This quote, this motto, is included here so that one can understand how someone who is completely self taught is now considered by many to be the best bonsai potter in the Western world.
For more than 30 years Peter has delved deeply into the art of creating bonsai pottery. He thoroughly studied antique Chinese pots for many years and diligently tried to copy them over and over. He read everything there ever was written about bonsai pottery and he clearly is one of the world experts in this field. Paul Lesniewicz, who owned one of the largest collections of Chinese pots, was his mentor, and Peter was the curator for that collection, as well as for the famous bonsai museum in Heidelberg.
Peter was born in 1943, he has been married to the same lovely lady since 1965 and they have two sons. He did all sorts of things in his life; his main profession was offset printing. After doing that for 25 years and practicing potting as a hobby on the side he jumped into freedom in 1993, clearly gaining in quality of life for himself and his family.
As a professional potter now he is very busy, but he never will be rich, of course. Peter lives in Germany, but sells his pottery throughout Europe and also to America. His pots are clearly of the highest quality and will no doubt will be the sought after antiques of tomorrow.
Bio above by Walter Pall. All work and photographs by Peter Krebs unless otherwise notated. Peter's Website can be seen at http://www.peter-krebs.de
All pots are handmade without moulds.
The following fourteen pots are the type that Peter especially enjoys making:
Diameter 29x27 cm
Diameter 30x11 cm
The following five pots are partly reproductions of old Chinese pots. They are decorated with engobe paining. Pots like these unfortunately are not used very often any more. For Peter however, they are a very important aspect of bonsai pottery because their creation has a high complexity factor which is a challenge to him.
Diameter 33x18 cm
The following two pots use underglaze painting, which is also a difficult technique.
Diameter 34x26 cm
This is a reproduction of an antique Chinese pot and the modeling of the decoration upon the pots sidewalls is the complexity factor.
The dragons make Peter cheerful. Since he begun doing pottery, they have become his loyal spirits, and at times, when his eyes get tired of making all those regular pots, he has to create another dragon pot. This makes his fingers flexible and opens his mind to a space inhabited by myths and legends.
“May the pearl of the treasure dragon touch the little community of bonsai friends, so that they increase in their numbers and may it make the envious people wiser.”
On this pot the inlay-technique was used, white clay decoration was inlayed into red clay.
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