Hello, I’m Heike
an architect by training and an artisan at heart.
I have an eye for beautiful places and for two summers and one winter lived at the Wellenberg, a grand old house built in 1786 by a Swiss wine merchant in the countryside near Zurich. I ran a ceramics studio in the neighbouring barn, experimenting with shape and form, colour and pattern, the play of light and shadow. In a world that has become increasingly digital, I chose to focus on my hands as my most valuable tools.
As a ceramic artist I am mostly self-taught, but I have had the privilege to learn from potters in Switzerland, Denmark and Germany. I have been passing on my knowledge in courses since 2019.
I have always loved the handmade, and feel most at home amongst the artisans of this world. I have tried my hands at copper plate etching, book binding, letterpress printing, fine line sketching, Arabic calligraphy, kite making, origami - I love inks and paper. I have looked over the shoulders of a silversmith in Cape Town casting local flora into delicate pieces of jewellery, I have learnt to weave baskets in Mozambique, spent countless hours with the carpet weavers of Marrakech, a group of block printers in Bombay, and three months in Zanzibar’s Stone Town, learning to carve intricate patterns into wooden doors.
In Jerez de la Frontera, the far south of Spain, I started to learn to dance Flamenco and play the guitar, focusing on the movement of my hands and each finger in turn. I quite literally learnt the ropes of sailing while crewing on a small boat with two brothers, travelling along the Atlantic coast of Africa from Cape Town via Namibia to Angola.
Architecturally I am interested in thresholds, the temporary, the ephemeral and seasonal. I am drawn to places of unrealised potential. I would like to build light houses, tree houses, camera obscuras, small huts with large fire places and tented camps somewhere in the African savannah.
In the places I inhabit and in the objects I create, I search for beauty. I do not mind superficial imperfections - rather I prefer an object that is balanced in itself and tells the story of its making.