Ternes, Rita

First name: 
Year of birth: 
Neuwied / 'Rhein
Country of birth: 
Working period: 

Rita Ternes is born in  Neuwied / Rhein in 1955. Internship with Jacob Böckling, Höhr-Grenzhausen. She studied at the State College of Ceramic Design and Technology in Höhr-Grenzhausen from 1978 till 1981. Rita married the ceramist Thomas Naethe. While partners in life (they have shared a studio since 1982), they have both developed a unique style each of their own. Thomas Naethe's wheel-thrown vessels display an incomparable style and sensitivity to form, while Ternes' hand-built and folded, geometric sculptures are in a category of their own, often with repeating geometric patterns. Both occupy an independent niche in the world of ceramic art and design. Rita won the Contemporary Ceramics award of Offenburg in 1983 and a Rosenthal award in 1985.

Pictures: Rita Ternes, folded work I (source Ceramics Today); Folded work II (source Pinterest); Folded work III with pattern (source Pinterest); ensemble of various works, also by Thomas Naethe (source Ceramics Today).


Work of the artist: 

"My sculptures separate the surrounding space from a self-created interior and simultaneously penetrate it on a flat expanse. I try to achieve a form with the most possible tension through the curvature of the wall and the composition of its different components. Through the choice of color the quality of the inner and outer space is emphasized. This continues to bring me to the dialogue of striped surface. In a few of my works the stripes fall into conflict with one another and create complex ornamental systems. For quite some time my work has been developing in the direction of minimalism. In this way, simple formulary elements influence the development of the work' s character through imperceptible change of color.

My work is constructed with a wet stoneware slab. The surface is inscribed and painted with colored slips and gas-fired at 11600 centigrade in a reducing atmosphere" (text Ceramics Today).