text text text
text text text
text text text
text text text
People know you for your performance art in the group “Die Segel” or for your paintings. But some time ago you started a new project and you are making creative jugs and Bembel, so-called “Dippel Zippel”. Tell us more about how did you come up with it and how long have you been doing it?
As a creative person, I am constantly reinventing myself and my art. I find my inspiration in many things from my everyday life, I love trying out new techniques and I really enjoy dealing with new materials. My creative horizon is basically endless. That’s why I feel just as much at home in performance as I do in painting or now with pottery. My mum, who was born and raised in Frankfurt, introduced me to Bembeln for the first time. She wanted to give away Bembel to the Saarland and was therefore looking for a special, unusual example, different from the traditional pieces in dove gray and blue. Up to this point, I had no idea that hardly anyone outside of Hesse knew a Bembel and that such a great tradition was associated with it. Thanks to your input, I got to work on the first drafts and drawings and shortly thereafter I burned the first Bembel in a good friend’s basement.
A typical Frankfurt vessel is the Bembel, which is traditionally used to serve apple wine. You paint these ornaments in your very own artistic way and you also make the mugs yourself. You also recently posted something about the apple wine cult figure Fraa Rauscher. Tell us more about how your Dippel relates to the Frankfurt Bembel. Why did you choose these objects?
My painting on the bembles is a bit like the city of Frankfurt, a melting pot of parallel realities of life. Colors and harsh contrasts are what characterize Frankfurt’s urban culture and what I try to capture and visualize – fused with my childhood and the traditions I learned in Frankfurt. My “Dippe” are basically a declaration of love to the city and to both of my parents. The song by Frau Rauscher fits perfectly into the picture. People still like to sway and sing to this day. If you take a closer look, or rather listen, it becomes clear that the story of Frau Rauscher is not only funny and/or cute, but actually very hard. This is exactly how I observe Frankfurt. Everything exists side by side: rich and poor, happy and sad, carefree and hard. As a true Frankfurter, I have always been influenced by the city, just like my art.
Tell us a little more about making these dipples. What materials do you use to form them and what equipment do you use? How do you burn the whole thing and how was your experience with the first attempts?
For the brackets I use clay from the Rhineland-Palatinate. Clay is a great material, it comes straight from the earth and is incredibly durable. During excavations, for example, ancient clay bowls are still being found that tell us about the everyday life of people 2000 years ago. The connection to nature, heritage and working with my hands is what I love about working with clay. Combined with water and body heat, the material can be brought into almost any shape. The only other equipment you need is a clay kiln. It’s in my art workshop, which I set up on an old farm not far from Frankfurt.
The painting then follows in a second step. Here you sometimes choose strong, sometimes pale colors, but the design is mostly abstract and looks modern. A traditional object with a modern design. Tell us more about how you paint the Dippel. What materials do you choose and how do you design the graphics and patterns?
My fondness for ancient cultures and folklore drew me particularly to the Bembel. When I paint, I try to perfect the imperfect, i.e. not a straight line, because only then is it really alive. For this reason, each Bembel is also unique. The color palette of my paintings and performances also accompanies me in the Bembel art. I keep an eye on the past and like to be inspired by it. But as an artist, I also allow myself to create something new. This is how I process Frankfurt tradition with a modern influence.
You don’t just create the Dippels and paint them, you also made drawings and paintings of Dippel, for example. You also post texts and information about it. Tell us more about it.
The topic of Bembel and the tradition associated with it is a super interesting topic if you really deal with it. As with so many other traditions, most people are not even aware of where they come from, because unfortunately the topics are often only very superficially discussed and disseminated. Like the song by Frau Rauscher, there are a few stories and poems in addition to the Bembel culture that give us so much more insight into Hessian history and its people than meets the eye at first glance. People and their stories have always been my elixir of inspiration. That’s why I try to capture all the facets of this traditional passion, visualize them and pass them on to other people.
You basically came up with a whole new label and design concept. The whole thing is called “Zippel Dippel” and it includes almost the entire art of this object. Are other creations conceivable here? For example, other vessels? Or other things related to Dippel, such as knitted Dippel scarves? Tell us more about “Dippel Zippel” and your idea.
I see “Dippel Zippel” as a new beginning, a kind of traditional creative playground without restrictions. A tribute to tradition and family. Where exactly the journey will take us is still open at this point in time. First everything will revolve around the world of the Bembel. Cider mugs, which can also be used as coffee mugs, will be just as much a part of it as thematically appropriate prints, handmade tiles or a booklet of poems. For the Handkäs with music, for example – a typical Frankfurt dish that is often eaten with Appelwoi – I am planning to design suitable plates. And for the die-hard Bembel friends among us, there will be a small series of screen-printed posters on Bembel. I actually have a few ideas in the pipeline at the moment and am very excited and curious about what can be implemented.
What artwork are you currently working on? Which objects have you been creating in the last few days and which Dippel are you going to create next?
I am currently preparing my DippelZippel booth for the 17th Höchster Designparcours in Frankfurt – Höchst. For this I make some new Bembel and mugs in summer colors. The design course will take place on Saturday, July 2, 2022 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Frankfurt-Höchst. It is the first time that I start pottery work there with a DippelZippel. One of my furniture has also entered the race for the highest design award, keep your fingers crossed for me.
Tell us something about the “unsuccessful” work. In the beginning, Dippel must have broken or didn’t turn out the way you had imagined. And I think especially with pottery things can break or not take the desired shape when fired. But you also learn from it as an artist and craftsman. How was that for you?
Especially at the beginning some bangles burst while burning, which happens when I work too fast and the clay hasn’t dried properly. That’s hard, because I open the lid of the clay kiln and see how a week’s work in the kiln has exploded. Then you have to go back and do better. Patience is an important quality that my pottery can practice well. I also ripped a few mugs and plates while drying because I formed them too wet or too thin. In the meantime I know what thickness I simply need from my pottery. As with many things in life, it is a matter of practice. How the sound behaves and what workflow I need then also depends on the weather. In the last very hot days, for example, the clay dries off incredibly quickly.
You are currently in the process of initiating an art festival. Tell us a bit more about the concept of the event and your idea of this creative coming together.
I am a self-confessed and big fan of the Slow Movement movement. Together with artist friends we are planning a small but fine art and culture festival in Griedel/Butzbach in the Wetteraukreis. An art and culture festival is planned that will deal with issues of nature conservation, the social consequences and the opportunities that develop from this. We are also planning small workshops and lecture formats on the subject of SlowArt, SlowMovement and SlowFood. We are also currently discussing the possibility of a small producers’ market in the heart of Griedel at the village meeting point.
You have already been able to win some artists and cultural workers for the project. Tell us a little more about the commitments and participants so far.
We have already started planning and are also already looking for institutions and associations that would like to participate and artists who would like to exhibit. We are striving for a conscious and small-scale art festival that also deals with the ecological and social issues of our time. So far we have received enormous support from Griedel itself, the carnival club there and also from other clubs. The Historical Museum Butzbach also intends to offer a workshop for children and young people. On the topic of archeology today, that’s almost what I’m looking forward to the most. As a child, I also wanted to be an archaeologist. There is already a list of artists working in the sustainability context. The SlowMo Festival in Griedel is scheduled to take place from September 16th to 18th, 2022. Interested parties can write to us via slowmo_festival in insta.
How can one acquire your beautiful Dippel? Especially if you’re not from Frankfurt. How does shipping work and by “where” do you send your works? You are in the process of setting up an online shop.
Shipping within Germany is super easy and no problem at all. You can find me via @dippelzippel on insta and a very dear friend and designer @frauines set up an online shop for me. At dippelzippel.com you can browse what I do and write to me. In the Hey – Du Store in St. Pauli Hamburg, DippelZippel mugs, plates and Bembel are also sold, but also really many other great things from artists. It really is a beautiful concept store that can also be found online at www.heydu.store. The people in the north use the jars as vases or water jugs. You just don’t know the cider there yet.
Artist: DIPPEL ZIPPEL – TAMARA ZIPPEL
Performace: Die Segel