Aleš ‘Belin’ Dančák studied music college in Ostrava and went on to work with glass, natural tiling and plaster models in workshops for several years. He considers himself a self-taught potter.

Belin on his soil search

Belin at work

“I have made pottery for fifteen years. I work with earthenware and porcelain, I use wood firing and what I like is to experiment with natural glazing. Working with clay brings me joy and I hope that the things I do have the same effect on the users.”

At first, Belin fired his pottery in an electric kiln, but he was not satisfied with the results. He then tried wood firing that offers broader possibilities and he has stuck with it. He says: “You can try different materials; the firing temperature is quite high, 1300 degrees Celsius. Fire gives it colour and edge.”

Because of the high temperatures the wood kiln provides, he has to use clay that can stand the heat. Most often they are terracotta clays. The pastel shades of brown, green and red in his pottery are the result of the use of natural clays: “I make them from ash or loam – they are low fusible clays used for making products such as bricks. The result is earthy, natural colours,” says Aleš Dančák who spends dozens of hours a week in his workshop.

 

 

 

Look at his original pieces:

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