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Laszló Reininger

Mohács, Hungary

Laszló Reininger estimates that members of his family have been producing the traditional black Mohács-style pottery for the past 200 years.  The Master Craftsman learned the trade from his grandfather, and now keeps up the family tradition while at the same time exploring new techniques and materials.  The traditional Mohács plates, vases, pitchers and candlesticks are made from local clay and are unglazed, getting their black color from a firing process in which the kiln is deprived of oxygen, causing the clay to carbonize.  All the pieces are hand thrown, so no two are alike.  Most of the decorations are done with simple tools while the piece is on the wheel, while the cutouts on the plates are made after they are partially set.   Mr. Reininger has made so many of these pieces over the years that he once won a bet by throwing a plate blindfolded!  His smaller pieces are sold in local shops, and he receives orders for large vases and funerary urns from customers in Hungary and abroad.  While the bulk of his business is black pottery, Mr. Reininger's real passion is for doing experimental work.  His tea sets, for example, are clearly influenced by Japanese Raku work, and feature a combination of glazing techniques with beautiful results.  Other work includes found objects, metal and organic materials that are added to the clay at various stages for interesting and unpredictable effects.