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Atelje Janja Gora, 


International ceramics centre Atelje Janja Gora is a center where creativity and art are the most important, free of all social, nacional, religious, political, educational or any other barriers.
We have opened up a space for individual and communal growth, that's why we provide all creative souls with the opportunity to express themselves, we integrate the local community into our projects and also offer a number of free workshops.
Our programs and workshops are dedicated to ceramics, clay and traditional pottery – an important, ancient, natural practice we want to emphasize. 
We create a space of cooperation and sharing knowledge, and we believe that this brings the opportunity of growth to any society.
That's why we also organize free ceramic workshops for children in a place of weaker social, economical and educational prosperity, in hope to bring lasting positive changes to the life of individuals and the whole community.
Creative expression should be available on a large social scale as a foundation of education, a foundation of creating self-aware individuals for a good and healthy community.


 2006 was my first time in Janja Gora, giving a workshop. In the following years I learned to know Danijela and Branko better and build the wood kiln for them as a start of the Janja Gora center. Already in those days Branko and Danijela dreamed about a project that points out the importance of water for all living creatures on earth. 

But building out the center took all their attention. Through the years that the Janja Gora Ateljee exist, many artists have enjoyed their warm hospitality and Danijela´s great cooking . Experiencing the place as a warm home, where the doors are always open for artists. I remember evenings sitting together round the large table, exchanging ideas and making plans for the future. People from different countries, often never been their before, not knowing the others. But instantly feeling part of the family. As an old man now, I look back with joy on all the times I was in Janja Gora. 

Suddenly Branko told me that he found a place, for the Water project. The national park that we know as Plitvice Lakes. A wonderful place, full of extraordinary nature. 

Knowing from experience that organising an international expo is extreme hard work. One has to be courageous and for all enthusiast to arrange everything and coop with endless hours of administration and work stress. Therefore I offered Branko to help him with inviting and selecting international artists. As a retired scholar, I can spend time to invite people by mail and answer questions when they come in. 


I hope that many who enjoyed their hospitality return the kindness and give them a helping hand now. Participating in the expo and the work. 

When I write this, already many old friends and new comers took on the challenge and make new works for the expo. Some will come to attend the expo and the full program. They come as far as from, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore and lots of other countries. Making this event special, something all of them will never forget. Seeing how this grows makes me happy! 

Especially for Danijela and Branko who took on the biggest challenge by organising this event. Let me be the first to thank you for doing this! 


11-3- 2019, Germany 

Lou Smedts 

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