Born Waltraud Setz, Traudi has always been a potter by trade; and a living remnant of the last professors of the renowned Gmunden Keramic from it's original location Gmunden, Austria.
Traudi's love of pottery began after her family returned from living in Venezuela. The Setz family settled in the town of Gmunden where since 1492 the original National Pottery of Austria and vocational school( Gmuden Keramic) was located. She enrolled in 1962 and worked her way up to becoming a Master Potter of fine Austrian pottery.
In 1978 Traudi moved to Minnesota, USA after marrying her husband. She took the sir name Pawlowski and this inscription can be found inscribed on many of her pieces since this time.
Her career - post '78, showcases many pieces reflecting the complexity artists go through as they balance the part of self-expression and the bending of self for family. life fought to co-exist. America brought many changes both personal and craft. The clay for example was not the same as found in her Gmunden, requiring a change in style and technique. Her classic WS signature adopted a simple butterfly which symbolizes her own growth as an artist and a human.
Naturally, Pottery for the Soul emerged in the early 2000's. Though her work evolved from her days at Gmüden Keramic, her distinctive glazing is what artists and art appreciators around the world admire.
Today you can find her pieces throughout homes and museums in Austria, and perhaps someday in Minnesota too. She keeps connected to her craft as close, personal, and simple as she can.
You can find her giving back to her community as an art mentor for children in schools in the Minneapolis area. Offers private art mentorship for children, and can be found displaying her art at Art Fairs. One art admirer at a recent farmers market day says,
"Her art just speaks to me,"
as she takes her hand over one of Traudi's iconic "Old Turtle" pieces.
And isn't that what makes art truly wonderful? Potters are humans who possess the remarkable skill and passion to collaborate with ordinary worldly material. Form it with intention, and just be in space to introduce 2 souls that speak to each other.
It is the true accomplishment an artist lives to experience.