Technical information

Method of working as applied before the stay at the European Ceramic Work Centre, 's- Hertogensbosch, July - October 1998.

Beforehand, objects are sketched on paper. Consecutively, the design is elaborated / built up by hand from coils of stoneware clay. After 1982 this technique was partly replaced by building up from slabs.

The slabs are formed by rolling the clay; after that these are left to dry slowly to the stage of being leather hard. Following this, the slabs can be cut to the desired size. Then, the parts are assembled with slip into hollow elements; during this process it is important closely to attend the details of finishing. The latter is necessary in order to prepare the elements for the final fit in the stage when the elements are glued together. The objects are individually numbered and signed with the artist's logo (by scratching).

After a slow and carefully watched period of drying (3 to 4 weeks) the elements are biscuit fired (1000° C.). The biscuit parts, including the typical slanting edges, are sanded.

The semi-matt glaze is sprayed and then removed from the edges and the corners. The striking discolorations of the edges thus arise. The firing of the glaze occurs in an electric kiln at 1260° C.

For objects in which Plexiglas is used, the Plexiglas is first cut to the exact size and consecutively laboriously sanded and polished (by hand).

A white or coloured cover is applied to the polished plates - after the process of drying, the plates are glued in between the ceramics elements.

Plexiglas was mainly applied in the period 1986-1999.

After the three month's stay at the EKWC (The European Ceramic Work Centre,

's-Hertogenbosch), the method of working changed decisively. Designs are not longer prepared by sketches, the form of an object largely develops during the process of building up.

Method of working after 1998

The clay type used from 1998 on, has been developed by the EKWC; it consists of various types of stoneware to which flax fibre is added. In addition, molochite blended in.The ultimate, open texture of the clay surface is achieved by blending organic materials with the clay mass - these burn away during the process of firing. The greys and blacks are obtained by adding certain amounts of body stain / colour pigments.

After the design sketching, the choice for either building up from slabs or using a press mould is made. These moulds can be plaster moulds, or wood or synthetic. In the mould, the clay mass is pressed tightly to the side and built up from several layers. For objects with coloured clay, usually the inside is left colourless (white) in order to enable contrasting colouring later (brilliant - matt, black - white).

As soon as the desired firmness is reached, the mould is removed. Then, the object is built and finished manually.

When using slabs, I work as mentioned before. Also, I sometimes use soft clay slabs, which I put in a preformed mould to have it grow moderately firm and then cut and assemble.

Once the building of a clay object is finished, a closely supervised process of drying begins - the biscuit fire is at 960° C.

While sanding (wet) with a diamond pad, the open texture of the clay surface ultimately shows. After thorough cleaning (spraying) and leaving to dry, the object is ready for glazing.

The glazes, as mixed by myself, are either sprayed or applied with a brush. Contrary to earlier work (before 1999), some parts of objects are not glazed; this produces characteristic contrasts. Glaze firing at 1260° C.

All objects are singles - they are signed and numbered.