Pottery as a craft and an art has many planes, like recycling the raw materials, preparing the clay for throwing, creating and putting together own formulated glazes, running all kind of firings, the necessary cleaning of the workshop and taking measure to work in a safe way with all chemicals and dust. Every plane is essential in pottery. You cannot rush here, you must follow through the process
Patience is a must when working with mud, otherwise you have to start all over.
Making mistakes is a crucial part of pottery and makes you think just how extraordinary it is to make pieces that will be part of your future. In the kiln the clay petrifies and turn back into the shape it once was, a piece of the earth, before it fell apart into clay and ended up in my workshop.
WORK: MAKING DREAMS FROM MUD
With the work I make, I go on an adventure through clay. It relaxes me while I am creating. The anatomy of my hands and the trades of my character are visible on my pot. I like to point out the parts of me on the pot.
After the clay has been thrown into shape the waiting for the first and second firing begins. Especially with saltfiring the results are very unpredictable. The wait can be very rewarding! The process of firing with salt in the kiln results in a chemical reaction with the clay pulling up a glaze surface from the clay body itself. Just chemistry. Nothing more, nothing less, every color on the pot gets highlighted. If it all works out of course.
In the electric kiln it is also exciting to fire and make stone from mud. How the glass on the pot does or does not melt. Where there can be colors or just the suggestion of color.
Every pot is unique in use and in appreciation. Since I started throwing pottery in January of 2020 I never made the same pot twice. My head is always filled to the brim with ideas. Making dreams from mud.
Time after time you start at the base and an watch the transformation from beginning to the end, focusing on the part in the middle or not in the middle at all, making way through the possibility of shape having form.
Working with clay opens up a whole spectrum of technique in throwing, firing, making glazes, recycling and decorating, all are worlds by itself. This craft which belongs to every culture and is as old as mankind appeals to me in a special way because of the unpredictable nature of the processes. Only after all processes are completed you will know if and how your design has come into reality. Until the last minute I have butterflies in my stomach and I only have the pieces then turned into stone on my mind.
GETTING DEEPER INTO THE CLAY
After taking part of a few courses at the Hoeboer Keramiek workshop in The Hague, I started studying ceramics at the Nederlandse Keramiek Opleiding in Gouda in September ‘21. Through studying the craft of pottey I get to learn about all the aspects of ceramics and the chemistry behind it. At Hoeboer Keramiek I now teach pottery classes.