How it is made – Piet Hein Eek ceramics



Inspired by the work of his children – flattening ceramics with a pasta roller – Piet Hein Eek had the idea of developing ceramic designs (2005) using flat sheets of the material as opposed to casting a series of identical objects from moulds. He used ceramic sheets in a similar way to how he manipulates sheet metal – choosing to turn a two dimensional material into a three dimensional form by folding it. In the development of these ceramic jugs, he explores the idea of ‘welding’ flat ceramic parts together with visible seams. In order to put these jugs together, sheet metal components were made onto which the ceramic sheets were moulded, then the separate parts were collectively assembled, clamped together at the seams and left to dry. At this stage, the entire structure is soft and therefore at risk of collapsing and the seams are vulnerable to becoming unstuck. The pieces are only safe once they have been fired in the kiln, then glazed. Each piece is individually assembled and therefore involves time and a lot of skilled, handicraft labour. Due to the fragility of the construction process, no two pieces are the same, which is a similar approach to the furniture created as part of the Waste Material Project.

De facet vase (2006) could be regarded as the superlative of this principle (see BOOK 1, pp. 396-399 en BOOK 2, pp. 56-59).

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