How to choose ceramic dishes: tips and tricks

Passau is a pretty baroque town in Lower Bavaria – Germany – at the crossway of three famous rivers: Danube, Inn and Ilz. That is why it is also called Dreiflüssestadt or “City of Three Rivers”.

Home of a notable University, the town is surrounded by rolling hills and forests. Driving up one of those narrow country roads, we reach Hans Fischer’s house where, until some times ago, you were welcomed by sheep, goats, chickens and a horse. Next to the house, in Hans’ workshop, there is always a coming and going: his five children visiting, students from all over the world attending Hans’ courses at the University of Passau, interns, customers buying ceramics, friends, other artists coming in for a beer (we are in Germany!) and conversing about art and philosophy. Time and space in this place assume a different dimension and meaning. Far from the frenzied cities but very close to Munich, where Hans often goes for his exhibitions, life has a natural rhythm.

Hans is an eclectic and surrealist artist whose ceramic works range from dishes, to tableware to sculptures that are displayed in select museums and galleries.

We catch up with Hans to better understand how he produces his beautiful ceramics and to understand important things to consider when buying a ceramic dish.

We start by making the clay, literally, as we buy raw clay nearby, mix it, then store it, as it is better when it has time to mature. Ceramic is completely made of natural materials, compared with Bone China that has synthetic elements in it. Resting time is also important: artisanal works take time! When the mixture is mature, it is ready for throwing. After the process of shaping on the lathe, we use a white slip to cover the red clay. This is the base for scratching with a needle on the piece. The drawing is made by scratching the white clay using the contrast of red and white. We say “red” although it is more a yellow/cream tone. Next step would be, when dried, painting the dish with either colored slip or glaze. Come and see… ”  Silence please:



After painting, the plate is glazed with a transparent glaze and finally fired in a gas kiln at about 1100 C. The high temperature is fundamental for quality. Watch for little cracks when purchasing ceramics because ceramic is a porous material and will absorb food, oil and smells if it is not properly glazed. Eventually, open flame gives subtle varieties on every piece. We love the tender warmth of this technique; it is part of our European heritage.”

How would you advise our readers when choosing ceramic dishes for their house? What should they ask themselves?

Just decide if you like it or not, or if you could like it in the future.”

Thanks Hans!

To know more about Hans Fischer biography and to discover his collection sold exclusively on DishesOnly click here.

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