“Artists from a variety of disciplines frequently collaborate with Meissen artisans on contemporary pieces, pushing the manufactory to the highest echelons of artistic accomplishment.”
Born in Berlin in 1980, Lena Hensel is an expert of porcelain paint and décor development. Her artistic focus lies in the pattern designs of contemporary products as well as reinterpreting old objects.
For Lena Hensel, paint décors are more fast-lived and versatile than sculptural design and are one of the ways to reposition oneself in today's world, to present oneself in a modern way and at the same time to reflect on the craftsmanship of the manufactory’s artisans. In her studio, Lena Hensel collects paints and decorative patterns using different techniques in order to experiment with them. In doing so, she aspires to go beyond classic patterns and further develop the manifold potential of paint design to ultimately create new products.
The Meissen sculptor, who trained under Jörg Danielczyk, was already enthusiastic about painting and sculpture design during his school years. At the age of 16, he followed his passion and began an apprenticeship as a porcelain painter at MEISSEN and is an enthusiastic artist of the manufactory ever since.
For Maximilian Hagstotz, it’s what’s hidden, the obscure that constitutes the special allure of his sculptures, be it a hidden element or an artistic composition that is unconventional to begin with. Both beauty and deeper meaning unfold only in the eye of the beholder, in a wandering gaze that explores the sculpture in all its magnificence.
In 2016, Chinese national Zhuoyu Hou began working as a product designer at the Meissen porcelain manufactory, drawing on her own artistic expertise to bring new and original ideas to the manufactory that looks back on a rich history and longstanding wordly gaze.
For Zhuoyu Hou an object’s beauty is a result of its use. Following this important guiding principle, the artist is constantly inspired to create new pieces and motivated to break new ground. Zhuoyu Hou’s greatest inspiration is nature and has played a role of great importance to the artist since her earliest childhood. Plants, animals or even light reflections inspire Zhuoyu Hou, sparking ever new ideas and forming the basis of her artistic dialog with Meissen porcelain.
MEISSEN artist Maria Walther’s sculptures are as multifaceted as the history of the Meissen porcelain manufactory itself. From her expressive animal figurine "3 Monkeys" to her latest sculptures "Shiva" or "Buddha" – a hallmark common to all of Maria Walther’s pieces is their deeper meaning and ability to beckon the viewer into a world of “white gold”. When tackling a new subject matter to be wrought from Meissen porcelain, Maria Walther emphasises the importance of opening up new perspectives for the viewer in her work. Her goal is to create a truly exceptional sculpture or figurine. By highlighting aspects that are particularly important and that speak to her, Maria Walther creates ever new vantage points and perspectives that inspire.
In 2020, the renowned German illustrator Olaf Hajek implemented his inimitable, much-admired graphical style on various porcelain objects from MEISSEN. The artist, born in Rendsburg, Germany, studied graphic design at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf and today realizes a wide variety of projects with well-known partners from the fashion, hotel and technology industries. For his expressive collection with MEISSEN, Hajek draws on the imagery of fantastic gardens and the secrets they safeguard and creates an artistic séance of magic and the metaphysical. In a fascinating way, Hajek breaks down the boundaries between reality and imagination, integrating aspects of South American folklore, mythology, religion, history and geography.
During his time as head sculptor, Jörg Danielczyk (b. 1952) has had a decisive creative influence on the Meissen design language over recent decades. Known among collectors for his sculptures and wall paintings, Danielczyk’s work as head sculptor has put him in the ranks of such Meissen masters as Kaendler, Kirchner, and Leuteritz. A former student of Peter Strang, he is reputed as the artist who can realize the most extraordinary requests. Works such as his "Swan", or "Bald Eagle", created for the foyer of the American embassy in Berlin, testify to the mastery of his craft. The highlight of his oeuvre is surely “Saxonia”, the largest freestanding porcelain statue in the world. In recent years, the degree of abstraction in his pieces has steadily increased. His sculptures and paintings explore and push the limits of representation, advancing porcelain design into new spheres.
With his knack for capturing the entire spectrum of human sentiment in his figures, Peter Strang consistently raises the artistic bar. To this day, the 82-year-old former head sculptor is creatively engaged with the work of the manufactory and continues to enchant with his unique figures.
In the world of fashion, the ODEEH label founded by Otto Drögsler and Jörg Ehrlich in 2009 stands for an increasingly rare atelier tradition and is one of the few German labels on the international stage to have successfully established itself in the luxury market in recent years. From 2017 to 2019, Drögsler and Ehrlich have served as creative directors of the Meissen porcelain manufactory, shaping the direction of the company's product segments as well as the visual representation of the MEISSEN brand. The creative engagement of the ODEEH designers in the porcelain industry - which will be continued on a project basis in the future - represents a true novelty.
In 2017, the first collaboration between the Meissen porcelain manufactory and Olaf Stoy resulted in a series of unique busts. Born in Dresden in 1959, Stoy works in neighbouring Freital. Following his training as a pottery former in the Saxon Porcelain Manufactory of Dresden, he worked while also studying graphics and sculpture at the Dresden College of Fine Arts from 1979-1981. From 1978-2003, Stoy was a mould caster and retoucher and eventually head modeler in the Freital manufactory. Just two years later, he founded his own art and design studio in which he continues devoting himself to working with porcelain. In addition to porcelain, Stoy also has a passion for literature and regularly publishes prose and poetry.
Since 2011, American artist Chris Antemann has collaborated with MEISSEN to create a comprehensive range of one-of-a-kind and limited-edition artworks, including the “Antemann Dreams” and “La Maladie” Collections. Inspired by the porcelain figurines of the 18th century, Antemann draws upon an amalgam of design and concept to both examine and parody the relationship roles of men and women. Characters, themes, and events build upon each other and effectively create a language of their own, telling of familiar rituals, social etiquette, and taboos. Chris Antemann lives and works in Eastern Oregon, USA. Her works are part of many public and private collections and are widely exhibited in the United States, Europe, and China.
Prof. Heinz Werner (b. 1928) was one of the most important porcelain painters in the Meissen manufactory's Collective for Artistic Development, whose founding members also included Ludwig Zepner and Peter Strang. Werner first joined the manufactory in 1942 as a decoration designer and subsequently created numerous examples of decor that have had a decisive influence on contemporary style. Highlights amongst these are "1001 Nights", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Blue Orchid", or "Hunter's Lore". Werner creates scenic miniatures filled with movement, imagination, and joie de vivre, influenced by Eastern fairy tales as well as his travels to places like Japan, Finland, Italy, and Hong Kong. During his time at MEISSEN, he tested and perfected a wide variety of new techniques in the emerging area of wall decoration together with Horst Bretschneider.
Gudrun Gaube’s style is characterised by lively shapes and fantastical painting. The unique visual signature of this former form and decoration designer is impressed upon numerous creations of Meissen's modernist style. In 2017, Gaube returned to MEISSEN to decorate unique vases and bowls.
Artist Bärbel Thoelke, born in Stralsund in 1938, is known for her porcelain vessels oriented toward the classical modernist style. In 2006, 2008, and 2018 she created a number of unique pieces for the manufactory, rendering her singular design language into the finest Meissen porcelain.