DSCF1028Arnold Annen ist ein Keramik-Poet. Hier (oben) eines seiner Designs, das er der Natur (Mikroben) abgeschaut hat. Wir haben ihn und seine Partnerin Violette Fassbaender–unsere Freunde–kürzlich besucht. Beide Künstler sind einzigartige Keramik-Pioniere, Arnold mit seinen zerbrechlichen Schalen, Violette mit ihren marmorierten “Steinen”.

Our friend Arnold Annen from Basel, Switzerland, creates poetry in porcelain. His large bowls and luminescent sculptures are paper thin. His partner Violette Fassbaender, herself an accomplished ceramicist, helps Arnold push the edge of a fragile art.

We recently stayed at Arnold and Violette’s house amidst scores of highly exclusive, one-of-a-kind artifacts. All pieces of their collections were mindfully arranged to evoke a symphony of inspiration.


In 2014 Arnold, who has gained much recognition in Europe and Japan, won a prestigious award at an international ceramics show in Chicago, Best of Show at SOFA.

SOFA CHICAGO_award_ Galerie Officine Saffi Milano

Who would have guessed this world fame when Arnold was born in the small town of Gsteig (Gstaad, Switzerland) in a small farm village. Arnolds relentless passion for the ceramics process drove him to perfection. Among of our most priced household possessions is a pair of paper thin porcelain cups that Arnold gifted us.

Violette’s concept in ceramics is drastically different. She creates organic patterns from different colors of clay at different stages of moisture to build them into objects resembling rocks from nature. Organic patterns as in nature.


DSCF0970_rockThe detail in Violette’s hollow “rocks” tells stories of ancient magma–or an observant walk through the Swiss Alps. Eye-catching blocks of “Urgestein” shape-shift in the sheen of daylight versus dusk. She also has perfected her technique since she began her organic quest in Japan. Her deceptively casual patterns require a high level of skill, simplicity, and abstraction. The soul search. Or the simple admission that there are no accidents in life.

We spent some wonderful hours with these two remarkable artists who we are glad to call friends. Their hospitality is heart-warming as well. We enjoyed some very tasty, home-cooked meals at their house. Memories.


There is much more to know about Arnold and Violette’s art. Further reading:

ARNOLD ANNEN in Neue Keramik, 2014


Arnold Annen & Violette Fassbänder

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