Immerse yourself in a fragile world

How are elegant glass objects created that fascinate in their simplicity?

Anyone who enters Wiebke Vogt's small artisan studio in Berlin, the district of Charlottenburg is immersed in a world of finely colored glass objects. Wiebke's frosted golden vessels also create a mood that makes us perceive the world a touch calmer and more serene. For over 30 years Wiebke designs the 'fine objects for everyday life' and her 'vessels of silence' in her workshop.

What is special about Wiebke's glass art?

Glass as some­thing fra­gile that needs to be pro­tec­ted and handled with care - what could be more per­fect as a christen­ing gift? Wiebke Vogt's hand-painted, sand­blas­ted, and gilded bap­tis­mal motifs on a plain glass reflect that. Her glass art with its del­ic­ate gild­ing and designs can be found on beau­ti­fully shaped glasses for every­day use. But the stor­ies her glass objects and ves­sels tell are more likely to be exper­i­enced in quiet con­tem­pla­tion and usage. Wiebke Vogt's glass art can be found in many museums and col­lec­tions in Europe, Japan, and the USA. Thus, her 'ves­sels of silence' inspire and enchant people all over the world.

How enriching are foreign cultures?

Wiebke has trav­elled a lot in her life, or as she prefers to see it: she immerses her­self in the cul­ture of the coun­try. Above all she gets in touch with people, she lets her­self be taken along and allows her­self to be impressed. Glass art is not her only medium to mani­fest her artist­ic inten­tion. In addi­tion her words make her thoughts and obser­va­tions legible to other people.

"I am a cul­tur­al trav­el­ler. It is so excit­ing to observe how people some­times move through life. To see the way they inter­act with each other. What touches their heart? What is normal for them? Furhter­more how do they use things in every­day life that we are so unfa­mil­i­ar with? All of this makes trav­el­ing an enrich­ing exper­i­ence."

What does 'being open' mean to Wiebke?

Wiebke is open to new impres­sions on her travels. In addi­tion she lets her­self be inspired by other cul­tures. Of course museums and exhib­i­tions or con­ver­sa­tions with friends and strangers are also import­ant to her. Many things enrich her work as an artist.  Due to Wiebke’s obser­va­tion of nature some of her glass objects have there­fore the theme name 'the beau­ti­ful things of every­day life'. The accur­ate details show­case her artist­ic talent. In addi­tion the matte gold patina or the use of other pre­cious metals such as silver or plat­in­um give her ves­sels a value without serving common 'trends'. 

Why gold as a style element?

Gold has exer­ted a fas­cin­a­tion on people for cen­tur­ies. The shim­mer of a candlelit gilded Buddha or the golden arti­facts in a Romanesque church create a mys­tique all their own. With this in mind a golden gift stands for a spe­cial appre­ci­ation. Wiebke applies the gold accents to a glass in an extremely exper­i­enced manner and with a calm com­pos­ure. The fact that her mini­ature bottle con­tains gold worth 500 euros is a sign of the pre­cious­ness of this unique metal. Surely Gold still plays a spe­cial role in artist­ic craft objects even in the 21st cen­tury.

How do I implement my artistic ideas?

Not only the artist­ic idea is import­ant, but also the tech­nic­al 'know how' is neces­sary to achieve the desired goal. Due to her time as a chem­istry stu­dent, Wiebke brings the appro­pri­ate know­ledge to real­ize her designs. For example, she achieves a per­fectly even glaze when firing the pre­cious metal glazes on the large glass moulds. This is impress­ively per­cept­ible on the 'Ves­sels of Silence'.

"The pre­cious metal sub­strate pen­et­rates through the heat into the sup­posedly closed sur­face of the glass. And since many metals have col­our­ing prop­er­ties, gold, for example, col­ours a glass slightly pink. Fur­ther­more cobalt pro­duces a slight blue tint, and silver reveals a del­ic­ate yellow hue. In addi­tion I also incor­por­ate this into my design work."

Wiebke's motifs and designs evolve over the course of her career and some designs rep­res­ent cer­tain stages of her life, like the little dragons from her early days. After all these years her dreamed up myth­ic­al creatures can be found all over the world.

What does 'destiny' mean to Wiebke?

Gen­er­ally Wiebke routinely plans and coordin­ates her work steps. But her start as a glass artist rather starts without long plan­ning. When she applies for a 3-year course at the Craft col­lege in the Bav­ari­an Forest, she is in her late twen­ties and look­ing for an altern­at­ive to study­ing. In her stu­dent town Munich she dis­cov­ers impress­ive photos of colored glass win­dows in a magazine about Polish arts and crafts. As a result she is enchanted by them and ready to make her next step. Her applic­a­tion port­fo­lio shows her talent for color and form. And this is how Wiebke con­vinces the dir­ect­or of the col­lege that she is suit­able for the class – even long after the applic­a­tion dead­line. Clearly she per­ceives this is a sign of des­tiny

"I believe that when a decision in life is right, fate sud­denly makes it very easy!"

In the first year the focus is on the prac­tic­al train­ing in four dis­cip­lines: appar­at­us blow­ing, engrav­ing, glass cut­ting and paint­ing. Than Wiebke's 'aspired and desired design­er train­ing' starts for the fol­low­ing two years. The tech­nic­al classes are import­ant for the mould making pro­cess. While the vari­ety of design classes secure and per­fect her artist­ic inten­tion. After the gradu­ation Wiebke first works in the industry. But then she is fate­fully drawn back to the vicin­ity of her home area: to the north. Berlin is not loc­ated by the sea, but the city has an excit­ing artist­ic scene in the early 1990s and many likes.

Surprise experience: Asia and the image of women

During her first travels in Asia, Wiebke exper­i­ences how nat­ur­ally Asian women go about their own busi­ness. They sell their goods in the mar­kets and seem to live a free life in other ways as well. In Viet­nam, she stays with a woman who abso­lutely impresses her with her know­ledge of the world. Wiebke finds her soul mate with the Asian cul­ture and exper­i­ences their spe­cial spir­itu­al­ity in some Buddhist mon­as­ter­ies.

"When I observe a Buddhist sculp­ture, I feel very strongly the intern­al­iz­a­tion of the fig­ures. They are with them­selves, in con­ver­sa­tion with their deity. It is not an art that goes out­ward. What is import­ant is the telling of little stor­ies. When I saw the first female Buddha figure, it fas­cin­ated me very much. In Japan­ese art it is also import­ant to repeat a hand­made pro­cess step over and over again. This guar­an­tees that even the smal­lest detail is per­fectly executed! This extreme con­cen­tra­tion and ded­ic­a­tion gen­er­ate a work flow that makes the final craft objects divine."

Both aspects can be found in the cre­ation pro­cess and in the per­cep­tion of Wiebke's glass art.

What does the next 'golden' inspiration look like?

For Wiebke, it's a trip to Morocco. To walk silently through the golden sands of the Agafay desert and sleep under the open sky. And get­ting to know the art and craft cul­ture of the Bedouins. She also likes to revis­it famil­i­ar places once she finds her­self touched by them. Her favor­ite museum is the 'Kolumba' in Cologne. Wiebke always finds new pieces of art there to observe and to be inspired by. On her next visit, we will for sure meet there again for new inspir­ing con­ver­sa­tions about art and the world in gen­er­al.

A sur­prise gift!

The way to my little seagull with the 'slipped' crown!

Many of the small fine motifs on Wiebke Vogt's glasses show where she spent her child­hood: at the sea­side in north­ern Ger­many. As a result water, sail­boats, the seagulls, and many other motifs show her long­time obser­va­tion of nature. There­fore she cre­ates these mini­ature size icons in a per­fect manner down to the smal­lest details. This is how 'my little seagull' was cre­ated during the inter­view.

  1. pre­lim­in­ary draw­ing of the seagull & little crown with a fineliner dir­ectly on the glass.
  2. stick­ing a pro­tec­tion foil over the design
  3. cut­ting out the small curves and details of the seagull with the cutter knife
  4. check­ing the final design through the ‘cut out seagull'.
  5. sand­blast­ing the glass in the base­ment of your studio & clean­ing after­wards
  6. apply gild­ing with a fine brush & let dry
  7. remove excess gold glaze with fine razor blade
  8. cure in spe­cial oven at 100 degrees
  9. finish & clean the gilded details on the glass
  10. pack care­fully

"In the morn­ing, the colour of my cap­puccino now cre­ates a per­fect color back­ground for my seagull with the tiny golden crown - won­der­ful!"

A tiny selection of Wiebke's art work:

Name:  Wiebke Vogt

Her pro­fes­sion is:  Glass artist & artis­an

You can find her in:

Berlin, in the dis­trict of Char­lot­ten­burg, her studio and sales­room can be found in a small quiet side street of the busy Kais­er­damm street

She likes:

coffee with cream in the morn­ing, swim­ming - abso­lutely! prefer­ably in the sea, in a lake or in a swim­ming pool - depend­ing on the weath­er and enjoy­ing my favor­ite view: of course – look­ing over the ocean

She admires:

Marion Gräfin Dön­hoff - a German journ­al­ist, author, and editor of the famous German weekly news­pa­per "Die Zeit" - she explained 'polit­ics' to me and showed me how import­ant it is to have an opin­ion.

Her WIASOLA tip:

Listen care­fully, look closely, be attent­ive and ask ques­tions!  It's import­ant in life and in your work.

Her favor­ite book:

  •  'The Master and Mar­gar­ita' by Mikhail Bul­gakov.

Her favor­ite movie:

  • 'NEWSMAKER' a Thrill­er comedy from 2009, the dir­ect­or is from Sweden, he stud­ies film making in Russia

Her favor­ite events:

Small film fest­ivals, such as the 'East­ern European Film' Fest­iv­al in Cottbus – East­ern part of Ger­many

Her favor­ite museum:

The 'Kolumba' Museum in Cologne, Ger­many build by the famous swiss archi­tect Peter Zumthor – dis­play­ing the Roman Cath­ol­ic Archdiocese’s col­lec­tion of Art from the 10th – 21th cen­tury.

To be found:

Atelier Wiebke Vogt  

Danck­el­mannstraße 18

14059 Berlin, Ger­many

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