andreas Loeschner-Gornau





My former studio in Compostela / Cebu Island Philippines 2004-07

Workshop Impressions




Here in the province, I found the place to build sculptures. Originally there was more than 50 ceramic factories in this region.

All companies produced pottery for garden supplier in the USA. They lost the market to China. Only 3 of the  companies survived.

I have extended the ceramics factory of Tatai to the double size. Through my work and ideas the small family had additional income.

We produced many sculptures and terracotta for the local market.

The clay in Compostela is of excellent quality. Tatai lives with his wife in the factory, so that nothing is stolen. I have often slept there. They have cooked for me. It was a wonderful time.

I learned many skills on clay, fire, kiln construction from Tatai.

Working in tropical heat and high humidity is very extremely physically demanding.

In the rainy season everything dried very slowly and we could not dig clay at the river.

The factory is built from coconut wood and bamboo. This construction creates pleasant air circulation. The roof is made of corrugated iron. The water must be carried from the well, and rainwater is used for work.

We made many experiments and build temporary kilns, because it is difficult to carry the big sculptures. At the end we found a solution to build the kiln around the modelled sculpture. The goal was to make terracotta sculptures.

The bricks we used are self made in our factory (from the clay of the region).

I welded a frame to close the top, this makes it easy to fix the bricks on top of the kiln.

As mortar we use a mixture from ash, sand and clay.

As fuel we use wood, bamboo, coconut husk. Trees are growing unbelievable fast in the tropic and many of them fall during the typhoons season.

The actors of the Video are Tatai, my lovely dog Paula, and me.

My helpers Kuja and Dong Dong are preparing clay for work.


It is a lot of work to make a good clay.


The steps:

  • Digging the clay at the river.
  • Crushing the hard clay into small pieces (by hand).
  • Removing stones.
  • Fetching water and sprinkling the clay often (for some days).
  • Knead the clay like you can see at the right.
  • Store in container.

The sculptures reach heights of up to 2.5 meters. A major challenge for the sculptor.


If clay absorbs a certain amount of water, then it develops its own momentum and crashes down. This results in the devastating landslides in the Philippines.

You have to develop a feeling for how the clay will behaves while the sculpture rises upwards. You need to be in union with the clay.

There is this Taoist story:

In front of a painting the slippers of the painter, he disappeared in his painting.


You have to know exactly what you want. You start at the bottom, build slowly upwards. There is no possibility for any corrections. Absolute concentration, meditation, harmony of body and spirit in every phase of the work.


God created Adam from clay. The creation of man was a divine art action. In the process of making art we find the origin of civilization. Creation is the root.


Andreas Loeschner-Gornau earthly, global and vegan Artist / Who needs still political borders and politicians?