Paul Soldner: The Vision

Taking risks often results in accidents, but Soldner teaches his students not to fight the unexpected but to look for the opportunities it offers. In firing raku pots the chance effects caused by the interaction of combustible materials and hot glaze during the smoking process are a source of both beauty and excitement. "In the spirit of raku," Soldner wrote in 1968, "there is a necessity to embrace the element of surprise. There can be no fear of losing what was once planned and there must be an urge to grow along with the discovery of the unknown."

The unexpected has led Soldner to many new discoveries in his own work. In fact, he believes that "mistake, rather than necessity, was the mother of invention."


One of the things that makes Paul so special is his passion for life, and his determination to stay busy and experience life to the fullest. Paul is known for his varied interests in the arts and the pleasures of living, including making his own wine and jewelry, designing hots tubs for himself and friends, growing bonsai, and building a compound in Aspen, Colorado.