Spolek Hvozd's workshops

Francesco Fanara

In the last two weeks of March 2019 in Spolek Hvozd were organized two important workshops. They were in line with the goals of Spolek Hvozd community to be a cultural and educational center, where people from different cultural and geographical backgrounds can meet and get to know the local community, and not least to bring benefits to the local community. These workshops can be considered the means by which this goal is achieved. Both workshops were led by two masters in their artistic fields.

Pottery Workshop with

Mira Musil

The first, the ceramics workshop, held from 15th to 17th March, there was a great participation and enthusiasm on the part of the participants and nice and friendly atmosphere. Mira Musil, a man in his forties, tall and grizzled, grew up on the outskirts of Děčín a stone's throw from the protected area of České středohoří. He is a sailor on a boat, traveling through the rivers of Europe between a river and another, dedicating his free time to pottery. He is one of the best ceramists in the area with years of experience in workshops and various ceramics exhibitions. It all started on Friday evening, in the house everything was prepared for the arrival of the participants, the work tables with the lights already in place, the work tools, the clay; the burning stove gave to the house a welcoming and familiar atmosphere; and don't forget the food. This is already prepared and strictly vegetarian if not vegan. The first participants arrive in the evening welcomed by this familiar and reassuring environment. It starts with a glass of grappa and some chat to break the ice. This has been done for a while. Suddenly, Mira reminds us that it is time to get back to work. It starts with an introduction to the world of ceramics, Mira shows us exactly how to create, from a ball of clay, the base of any container with the most diverse uses. Then we are all stunned and amazed by his teapots, presented to us as if they were works of art, towards which we cannot but have an attitude as a worshiper. Inspired by Mira's work, we all begin to get to work, driven by enthusiasm and the desire to put our ideas into practice. The less experienced participants encountered some difficulties at the beginning, not having a certain manual skill. This is when Miro's help comes promptly, whose contagious passion leads you not to give up, and to continue. Meanwhile the night is approaching and the most fearless people remain until late at night, becoming very productive, and some manage to make many pieces. The next day, after having had a healthy breakfast, some of us still groggy, resume work. Certain moments were characterized by a certain calm and silence, this sign of a concentration of everyone in what they did. But these silent moments were broken by discussions on various topics: from politics to music etc. They were moments in which there was a chance to learn about local culture and customs. The following day, a sunny sunday, we take our works out in the garden, enjoying the almost summer air of the day. Some of us are preparing to finish our works, starting to create new ones. These moments of dedication to one's work alternate with moments of laughter and play among the participants, thus creating a unique atmosphere full of joy. Some eager to deliver their jobs to Mira, because then he would have cooked them in his oven, they hasten to finish the last changes. Others instead, decide to continue to dedicate their time to their products even after the workshop. When the sunset is coming to Merboltice, the moment of greetings has come. Mira starts packing her ceramist's stuff and takes some of the participants' works with him. Put everything back in place, clean the kitchen and the living room from the clay, which covered everything. We end up concluding this experience, which many of us experienced as an opportunity not only to learn to create something from clay, but also as an opportunity to meet and make friends. This only leads us to hope to have another meeting with Mira and our friends and to give us an appointment at the next workshop.