the end of 2003 we published a book about studio Struktuur 68: Work
600 pieces, 104 pages, ISBN 90-803745-2-0, price 20 Euro
Wout de Vringer (Faydherbe/De Vringer)
Genesis: Dr. Paul Hefting
publication of the book was realized with the financial support of Fonds 1818
and the Foundation for the Promotion of Monumental Ceramics,
Work in Progress
narrow Nieuwe Molstraat is more intriguing than one might suspect given the
somewhat older and monotonous facades of the houses and small businesses lining
the street. The tucked away studios of Atelier Struktuur 68 can be found in this
Behind a simple door, one finds a maze of halls linking large and small spaces
covered in an ochre colored dusting of dry clay. Another world is unveiled where
strange creatures stand, many unfinished, covered in light blue transparent
plastic, waiting to be adorned with a layer of color. In de dusty ochre décor
with pastel-like variations, one can suddenly come across a colorful sculpture,
ready to be transported to its final destination. But these are exceptions.
There is a quiet ambiance of people hard at work:
artists working on details of large-scale projects,
concentrating on the form or applying glaze, simultaneously sculpting and
painting. Working like alchemists, staff members, using precise formulas, mix
white or dull colored powders that are transformed by high temperatures into
brilliant colors, like butterflies emerging from their drab cocoons.
working on a ceramic work of art transformations occur that are important to
note. The original versatility of wet, pliable clay essentially disappears in
the firing process and becomes fixed in the ceramic material. All the previous
characteristics of the clay are lost.
Working with ceramics requires a great deal of
imagination. Painters especially find this difficult. The pastel
tints of unfired glazes can become very bright once they are fired; and what
starts out as white can become red, but then it is not unusual to find you end
up with yellow or orange instead. Light grays turn into the brightest blues. The
outcome of the ceramic artwork often looks completely different than it does
during the various phases of the working process.
in Progress, a peek backstage where you can see that there
are no 'it has to be done this way' rules. The special moments during the
process are really what are most important, as well as the climate created by
the various collaborations in this studio, housed within the historic walls of
Struktuur 68. A peek at the work in progress, but above all, an homage to the
craft of ceramics.
(the book can be reserved: firstname.lastname@example.org)