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Hannah Rabl, self employed artist

Photos: Hannah Rabl and Matthias Matzer · Text: Anne Gemeinhardt

Hannah Rabl, self-employed artist in Ebersdorf, Austria, has fulfilled her dream of owning her own studio. esb -PLUS wooden construction panels from elka -Holzwerke play a key role in this .

Hannah Rabl in her studio house
Hannah Rabl clearly feels comfortable in her studio house Not only the walls, but also the exhibition steles are made of esb panels

The young woman welcomes me happily in front of her own studio. The small wooden house on the sunlit meadow in the shade of large old trees is reminiscent of a well-known local film with its cosiness. And yet it seems fresher and airier, with its modern industrial style, young and contemporary. The entire building exudes a certain creativity and so I am not surprised by the diverse mix of drawings, paintings and sculptures in the spacious exhibition space inside the studio.

The artist lived and studied in Rome and Venice for several years, and since graduating from the master class for ceramic design at the Ortweinschule Graz in 2021, she has been working full-time as a freelance artist. In her work, it is important to her that the technology follows the subject, not the other way around.

She proceeded in the same way when planning her studio: The 70 m2 are divided into 5 rooms: exhibition room, workshop, office, warehouse and a bathroom. Thanks to the special wooden brick construction method, it would be very easy to add rooms at any time and adapt the building to the respective work or living situation with relatively little effort. Because it would also be ideal for use as a residential building.

Painting and ceramic sculpture are the artist's main focuses
Painting and ceramic sculpture are the artist's main focuses
Handmade sculptures

“This building system with wooden building blocks is something like Lego for adults,” laughs Hannah Rabl. This is also how “ Luxhome ”, the manufacturer of the so-called Homebricks , explains the simple plug-in system. The artist was happy to have discovered it very close to her current studio. The substructure made of wooden beams was placed on screw foundations. This meant that it was not necessary to seal the floor with a classic floor plate.

Sustainability and protecting the environment are very important to the young woman. So these were of course also important criteria for processes and materials in their building project. It's good that the Homebricks are largely made from esb -Plus panels from elka Holzwerke, which are harmless to health and have been recognized for their sustainability. The special wooden brick construction made of esb -Plus panels and wood fiber insulation allows the walls to breathe and ensures an extremely pleasant indoor climate. Hannah Rabl deliberately wanted to maintain this and not completely seal the walls:

When you enter the studio, you notice that the esb -Plus panels have been left visible everywhere. The wall and ceiling surfaces are simply treated with a breathable, transparent white glaze to make the rooms appear brighter.

This also has another advantage for the artist: rehanging pictures is the order of the day in her everyday work. On the esb -Plus panels, even heavy frames are held on a simple nail; they do not require any screws or dowels. And she doesn't have to fill any holes afterwards because they are so small that they simply disappear into the wall structure.

Steles for the exhibition room were made from the remaining pieces of the esb panels. They fit in perfectly visually and once again reflect the style of the building. The reduced and reserved interior design fits with one of the artist's guiding principles: “As vague as possible, as concrete as necessary.” In her works, she wants to offer the viewer the opportunity to fill in the blank spaces with their own personal experiences and interpretations.

And what experiences has she had with the studio herself, for example in her first cold winter there? “To be honest, the winter months were very problem-free,” reflects Ms. Rabl. The insulation value of the building corresponds to that of a low-energy house. Although the walls must remain free as presentation areas and the studio is therefore mainly heated with infrared panels mounted on the ceiling, these are completely sufficient in the transition period. During the really cold periods, she heats a Swedish stove with wood in the morning and within a short time the entire building is pleasantly warm for the rest of the day. This means heating costs remain relatively low.

The studio is also used for courses in various artistic techniques in the areas of ceramics, drawing and painting. Hannah Rabl is grateful for the pleasant acoustics of the rooms. The structured surface of the walls and ceilings means there are no unpleasant echoes. It sounds more like a cozy living room there, although because of her clay work there are no carpets or curtains to be found. The workshop must be easy to clean.

Your course participants also enjoy the homely and relaxed atmosphere in the studio. They are happy when they can escape from everyday life for a few hours. In the small wooden house on the sunlit meadow in the shade of large old trees…

The insulation value of the building corresponds to that of a low-energy house, and thanks to a Swedish stove it is comfortably warm even in winter
Substructure made of wooden beams on screw foundations
The substructure made of wooden beams was placed on screw foundations. This meant that it was not necessary to seal the floor with a classic floor plate.
Construction of the studio without heavy equipment
No crane or heavy equipment is required to build the house. This also makes it possible to set up houses in impassable places with the Homebrick system.
Interior construction of the walls with esb panels
Setting up the walls is very quick thanks to the plug-in system. Hannah Rabl later left the surface of the esb panels visible in the interior.

The artist

Hannah Rabl is an independent artist in Ebersdorf near Hartberg. She grew up in Eastern Styria, and after graduating from high school, Rabl lived and studied for several years in Rome and Venice. She then continued her training in the master class for ceramic shaping at the Ortweinschule Graz. After graduating in 2021, she founded her own studio and has since worked full-time as a freelance artist in the areas of painting and ceramic sculpture.

Portrait of Hannah Rabl


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