Birgitta knew she belonged in Hawai’i a day after she landed. “My paradise on an active volcano is exciting and inspires my daily work,” she says. Originally from Germany, she was just 17 when she received a 3-year degree as a Milliner (ladies’ hat maker). She took college classes to learn and then improve her English. In addition to taking classes in photography, printmaking, design and painting, she thought it would be fun to work in clay. She took as many semesters as she could in hand building and wheel throwing, attending any ceramic-related workshops there were, which she still does today. Her first ceramic teacher was Kay Mura. She has also studied with Russell Wee and Bunki Bakutis. Her community recreation center had a ceramic department which she joined at first to learn, then volunteered to help, which led to teaching as well.
Today Birgitta lives and works in the Volcano Village. She does some hand building, but most of her work is wheel thrown, then altered by carving, cutting, or stenciling.
“I enjoy most the process like carving, cutting into the soft clay, or imprinting flowers or leaves. Creating something new and always different. As you can see in my work, I’m inspired by my surroundings, animals, plants, the rain forest and colors of the lava in my raku glazes.”