Are you familiar with the proverb ‘he who travels far, can tell many tales’? After every journey I make, I notice again how true that is. Read how the discovery of a few flowers in Greece led to the beginning of the making of my porcelain object WaterFlowers.
Do you also adore flowers so much? I can deeply enjoy those jewels of mother nature! I always try to do everything I can to preserve them as long as possible. And I always get a bit sad when they do wither. Then I just want to blow new life into them. With real flowers that is sadly not possible. With the help of art, it is.
What are those flowers doing in the sea?
Years ago, I made a study trip to Greece. At one point in time, I was sitting on the rocks at a beautiful bay. The sun was high in the sky, and the sea was sparkling blue. Suddenly, I saw something white shimmer in the water. First I thought it were fish, but when I looked more closely, I saw it were a couple of gorgeous flowers. What were they doing there?
The image made a deep impression on me
I took them out of the water to study them more closely. The wet flowers had a beautiful, delicate tint and glimmered in the sun. They had looked so alive in the water, but in my hands they were obviously dead. They hadn’t survived their journey though the salt water. I let them slide back into the water, but I’ve never forgotten the image of those soaked flowers.
Soaked flowers ripen to a porcelain object
That image slowly ripened in my mind to the idea for a porcelain object. I wanted to make the flowers, as it were, come alive again. I saw the whole artwork before my mind’s eye, from material and form to the colour use. The porcelain object WaterFlowers depicts the calyces of the white ‘seaflowers’. The touching, fragile white of the flowers naturally dominates. But there are more colours in this artwork.
‘Porcelain photo’ of a colourful moment
Thus you see the resemblance of the beautiful, lively blue of the sea. And a little bit of pink from the rocks, which reflected in the crystal clear water. It also contains a bit of yellow in the form of pigment and gold luster. That yellow does not only stand for the abundant sunshine, but also for the sand at the bottom of the sea. The glaze on this porcelain object invokes the image of the glimmering soaked flowers when I was holding them in my hands. WaterFlowers is, as it were, a ‘porcelain photo’ of a striking moment.
Lines are symbols of life
You can also see black and golden lines on this porcelain object. These represent life lines. The golden lines stand for the nice parts of life. The black ones for less nice parts. Here and there you can see ‘sprouts’ of those lines. Those are the important positive and negative events, which are justified to have their own ‘storyline’.
Form reflects transience
Why does one of the calyces lean a bit forward? It symbolises the transience of moments, things and people. Beauty perishes, and a lovely moment often passes by before you know it. And the human is also a vulnerable, transient creature. If we would give thought to that a bit more often, maybe then we would live our life a different way, and treat others differently…
Paper porcelain increases the creative possibilities
I have created this porcelain object from paper porcelain. That is porcelain in which paper fibres have been mixed. Those fibres make the porcelain more firm and enable you to create much thinner artworks. During the baking of such an object, the paper fibres burn away and what is left is pure porcelain. A wonderful invention, which has expanded my creative freedom immensely.
Production was quite a task
After biscuit firing (which is the first phase of baking) I lightly painted pigments on the object. On top of that I applied a thin layer of glaze. Next, the object went back into the ceramics kiln for ‘glaze firing’. During this baking phase, I let all objects get attached to each other. Then, I painted the object with pigments and lustre. Then I baked it again, this time on a lower temperature. Read more about the production of porcelain
Pedestal emphasizes form and colour use
The artwork is placed on a base of black marble, which makes it stand out even more. I haven’t fastened it to the pedestal on purpose. In my opinion, the buyer should be able to position it the way they find the most beautiful. They should be able to play a bit with the porcelain object.