2014, Sunday March 16
We were excited about our GET TOGETHER CERAMICS where we presented three MAKERS – J.C. Herman, Atelier NL and MAUKstudio. A wide range that will lead us from Paris via the polder back to Amsterdam. What our MAKERS have in common is a search for a modest symbiosis between object and resource that is as pure as possible. It is easy to make a product in a certain way, but what counts is a product you can simply use, not only made by hands, but also formed from precious local resources …
We were excited about our GET TOGETHER CERAMICS where we presented three MAKERS – J.C. Herman, Atelier NL and MAUKstudio. A wide range that will lead us from Paris via the polder back to Amsterdam. What our MAKERS have in common is a search for a modest symbiosis between object and resource that is as pure as possible. It is easy to make a product in a certain way, but what counts is a product you can simply use, not only made by hands, but also formed from precious local resources.
Herman Verhagen, the potter at J.C. Herman Ceramics guides us slowly through the time of mass production and the global economy and shows us an alternative. A small, personal production made by hand, (but even more importantly) made with care, non-polluting and using local clay resulting in local recognizable shapes. Living in Paris at the time, Herman picked up the ‘throw of the wheel’ when the search for a perfect pot yielded nothing. He decided to make one himself and has been making them ever since. In 2009, he became an apprentice of Karin Dessag in Paris, studying a year fulltime to master all possible shapes. Glazing was learned from Marc Uzan, in Le Mans Herman learned a technique for structural glazing research, to achieve the desired glazes. Since 2011 J.C. HERMAN Ceramics opened its doors, where all works by Herman Verhagen are sold in the shop that is connected to the studio. All products are handmade on the potter’s wheel. Unique, and round, per definition…
The work of Atelier NL is a natural fusion of feasible design and temperate observations of everyday objects. Lonny van Ryswyck and Nadine Sterk have created a simple pottery tableware range made of clay dug from different areas of the Netherlands, expressing their origin through their colour and material composition. We were charmed by the natural beauty of their farmer’s portraits. ‘A bucket full of soil is anonymous, the farmers gave the material its identity.’ It is not only about making products, it is about telling stories. By diving into the lives of the farmers, Atelier NL realizes what shape their ceramics should be. The true shape of our daily utensils should depend on our surroundings and available local resources. Their unpretentious way of designing leaves us thoughtful on pause for a moment.
With the work of Manon Maatje from MAUKstudio we had an opportunity to touch and feel ‘our’ local clay. MAUKstudio is a design studio based in Amsterdam creating ceramic products by experiment and by hand. The Amsterdam metro clay project originated from Manon’s interest in the clay released by drilling for the new North / South line. History, stories and secrets – our clay is temperamental stubborn like the inhabitants who have lived for centuries on top of it. The first experiments resulted in deformations, shrinkage and cracks. Time and study has resulted in amazing material and colour schemes, working with clay is a patient chore.
Clay is slow. All ingredients must be carefully weighed, all quantities must be recorded accurately. Forms made of clay have to be thoroughly dried (4-14 days), be fired (2 days), covered with a glaze and fired again to have the glaze melt (2,3 days). Different clays harden at different temperatures. Different glazes melt on different temperatures. Clay is slow because the clay has to dry and a kiln has to be filled with glazes of the same temperature. The biscuit needs to bake for days. By getting our hands dirty we realize even more the slowness of shaping daily life. We listened enthralled, finally realizing the real price of a plate.
Thank you all,
Photography: Maria Stijger Photography
Styling: Wenda Torenbosch
and all our subscribers,
with love, SIMPLY SLOW
The copyrights of the images are with Maria Stijger. The images have been photographed with care for SIMPLY SLOW . Please keep this in mind and treat them the same. Thank you.