Schoemig Porcelain – Modern Design Traditionally Handmade
Glowingly, Claudia Schoemig welcomes me into her shop as I enter from the busy street in Prenzlauer Berg. She has an openness and serenity about her that slows you down instantly. And while we're still greeting each other, just like that her boyfriend appears behind the counter handing me one of Hacker bakery's heavenly Splitterbrötchen, a traditional Berlin raised pastry. Every little thing in here means 'welcome'!
However, it didn't take long for me to revert my attention to the countless beautiful pieces of porcelain by this brilliant Franconian designer. Stacks of vases, mugs and bowls, cups, plates and platters, all very modest, lined up on beautiful simple shelves, framed by an old 'Porcelain' neon sign hung above them.
When I first saw Claudia Schoemig's work, it was love at first sight. And here we are, sitting together while I interview her about her story. Born and raised in Schonungen near Bamberg, she was trained in a traditional workshop before moving to Augsburg where she received extensive training in turning, shaping and moulding porcelain by hand.
“The turning and moulding process of porcelain is as hard as learning an instrument”, she says. “Becoming a master ceramicist takes many years.” Hand-moulded pieces are fragile throughout the entire making process at that, which is why there aren't many people who'll learn the craft. Accelerating the process is not an option, as one piece of porcelain goes through 10 to 12 steps, during which anything could happen. Utmost precision and attention is required even during the last step of polishing.
After having her own ceramics studio in Bavaria for a while, Claudia Schoemig moved to Kassel and Berlin to study art. While still working on ceramics part-time, she got involved with photography, drawing and installations before opening up her own workshop in 2011, situated in the courtyard at first before moving to her present-day location in the front house of Raumerstraße 35.
Sustainability is another priority, which is why Schoemig tries to maintain short hauls for materials, Berlin-made packaging and operates her ovens on green energy. With that much love put into her work, it is no surprise that her clientele is very appreciative of all the details as she tells me beautiful stories about the different characters who frequent her store. The press has also become aware of her: Schoemig was recently featured in ELLE Germany and Wallpaper!
The finished porcelain, by the way, can take much more – it is durable and dishwasher-proof. Which also explains why, finally, I leave with two vases and a tiny bowl. Adorned with a plaid pattern that seems so much as breathed onto them, modestly beautiful.