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Jacques Jansen van Vuuren
PO Box 616
Namibia, Africa 0000
ph: +264 81 284 6303
I was first introduced to pottery at the age of 6, when I received a big bag of terra cotta clay from my parents. And as they say: “I’ve never looked back”. My interest in clay did however start at a much younger age, when I use to make things from play dough.
The item I enjoy making most is tea sets, especially the teapot. I find it fascinating that: by just changing one element in a teapot you can change the whole aesthetic and functionality of it. And from there, developing a range of cups and tea caddies that form a cohesive collection with the teapot. In this instance I see the teapot as the parents. The cups and other accompaniments are like the children, each holding an element of the parent, i.e. form, glaze, handle, etc., but functioning in their own right. This is not just true for teapots and tea sets, but the craft of pottery in its totality.
The work which I have been producing during the last 3 years, has always had an elements emphasizing the malleability of soft clay, cone 9 glazes and oxide/slip brush decoration, shapes inspired by the voluptuous female form. This inspiration comes intuitively and subconsciously from nature in Namibia, and various cultures that have helped shape our people.
I make some of my brushes and most of my tools myself. This lends to subtleties that only my tools can make. This is why I make my own brushes; I find it so interesting to see how subtle changes in motion applied to a brush, can influence the mark it makes. Clay itself is the most important element in pottery, and I try to honor this by leaving the non-functional surface of the vessel unglazed. Treating the clay surface in various ways, with wood ash, lends a final earthy refinement, similar to wood fired ceramics.
JJVV (Second ‘J’ is inverted, and VV is superimposed on top)