A work of art must not only be creative, it also must be of the best possible quality. That is why I only use the top-of-the-notch materials, and choose my processes carefully to finish off a work of art. Many of these processes I have developed myself. Like the ‘bakingcurves’ of stoneware, ceramics, and porcelain – the temperature in the different phases of baking requires precision.
My own blues
The shades of blue that are so characteristic of my work are glazes that I developed myself. I wanted the glaze that suited my work and have the right shade of blue. I wanted to have influence on the glaze, be able to adjust it. It took several years of intense searching, but I succeeded. I can adjust the glaze so precisely to suit the work. You can see some interesting examples in my gallery and next, I would love to tell you more about the production processes of my art.
Examples: stoneware sculptures
There is a lot involved in the production of a work of art. Take stoneware sculptures. Stoneware is high-quality earthenware that is baked at a very high temperatures about 1220°C. This makes the material a lot harder than ‘regular’ earthenware. A stoneware artwork can be openly displayed in the garden throughout the year.
Drying requires constant careful attention
I start with constructing the basic outlines using small pieces of clay. I mould this construction and revise it until I am content. Then it needs to dry. How long this takes depends on the thickness of the material and… the weather! When the weather is very dry, I sometimes need to cover it with plastic to prevent it from drying to quickly, which will cause the work to crack.
Production can take months
Then the first phase of the baking process starts: the ‘bisque’. After this the work will be painted or be treated with oxides and/or glazes. Afterwards, the work will go back into the oven for the glaze to be fired. The next phase contains painting the work with lustre decoration and pigments. Eventually, it will be fired again once or twice but at lower temperatures. This whole process can take six weeks up to three months.
Porcelain – a tough nut to crack
Porcelain is harder and therefore even more difficult to work with than ‘regular’ clay. Sometimes, it seems like it has a memory – when shaping the clay you smooth away this small bump, but after firing it reappears again, on the exact same spot!
Finishing touches to a ceramic object
The production starts with pretreating a piece of Limoges- or Ming porcelain. You have to roll it out and press it very well before it can be used. Once the material is ready for use, you can use the potter’s wheel or your own hands to make something nice out of it. After a carefully monitored drying process, you can add the finishing touches of a ceramics object.
Combined play of shapes and colours
I use white porcelain very often. It does not always need to be transparent or translucent. For me, it is about the combined play of shapes and colours, and the atmosphere it breathes.