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.