We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of my kiln and 30 years of professional studio ceramics!
'Making ceramics means acquiring a lot of knowledge about clay, raw materials, glaze, heat and fire. In my work I want to see the earth, serene or sturdy, perfectly imperfect, organic shapes, soft white or full of freckles and speckles ... clay, raw materials and its magical fusion in the fire of my kiln ... close to nature and apparently simple.'
A few months ago, I met young architects Anna Zań and Elise Laurent who both studied in the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. Both of them share a fascination about air-dried raw earth as a building material. Anna graduated with her master’s thesis ‘Earthworks‘ and was selected as one of the winners of Archiprix NL ’22 and shortlisted for EUmies Awards – Young Talent 2023
Anna and Elise are currently investigating the waste excavated soil that arises from building our cities .. how new constructions and building materials can be made with raw and local earth. They draw inspiration from the forgotten craft of building with rammed and compressed earth. Last year they visited five soil depots (grondbanken) in the Netherlands. They drove around the country to collect excavated soil and came back with buckets full of sand, clay and rubbles from Maastricht, Nijmegen, Eindhoven, Groningen and Amsterdam.
‘We see a lot of wisdom in the craft of building with raw earth, the craft used to be part of our context but has disappeared a long time ago. In the age of circular dynamics and climate emergency, its relevance becomes clear’
- Anna Zań
After our meeting in my studio – where I just got the first test results of local clay at the Lek/Lopik we looked at it together. Anna and Elise gave me 12 little bags of approximately 500 grams of wet clay from their NL soil depots.
We started a collaboration and make an exhibition were we show the beauty and potential of the local clay, rammed, air-dried and fired into ceramics.
The colors of the Netherlands!
‘Salvage Soil’ project is supported by Stimuleringsfonds NL.
'The beauty and ecological relevance of earth as building material for furniture as for architecture'.
- Elise Laurent
Photographer Saskia van Osnabrugge and creative director and stylist Maaike Koorman create 3 beautiful 2D images showing the clay from this project, the raw materials I use for my glazes and the poetry ‘from earth to stoneware’.
I have known Saskia and Maaike for years, they have previously photographed beautiful still lifes that you see on my cards and of course many more images for magazines and cookbooks. Maaike asked me years ago to create tableware for a cookbook and was the first to inspire me to start making organic shapes. In addition, Maaike helps me design my 30 year anniversary, which is very nice because she can make visible what it is all about like no other, from the broad strokes to the details.
'I believe that details make the difference, I am driven by my curiosity about people and their stories. I am sensitive to striking design and hungry for work with a soul. With this photo we want to visualize the process from earth to stoneware and everything that influences it: from nature, chance, to the hand of the master'
- Maaike Koorman
Saskia gets a lot of pleasure from playing with light, with which she tries to create a certain mood.
'Marjoke's love for the earth, her drive, her knowledge of and feeling for the materials come together in her ceramics, ceramics that you fall in love with'
- Saskia van Osnabrugge