Words by Véronique van Hoye
Craft pottery is cooler than ever and Kolifleur just loves Studio Hear Hear’s handmade ceramics. Read on to meet ceramic artist, plant lover and all-round creative Rena Noordermeer.
How did you first get involved in ceramics?
I’ve always loved ceramics, unique pots especially for my plant collection. When I was studying at the Willem de Kooning Academy I realised that a career in graphic design alone would not be fulfilling for me. I opened my own shop in Amsterdam, but I found that didn’t nurture my creative nature either. So, I started looking for new things to learn. After a stressful period in my life, working with an earthy material like clay seemed the most soothing. I took a course and here I am making my own ceramics collection.
What about the first piece you ever made?
One of my first designs was a small blue pot on high legs. It’s my personal favourite and people keep asking me whether they can buy it. I could try and duplicate it by making a mold, but the result would never be as touching as the original.
Please talk about what the material means to you.
In clay work the maker’s hand is very important and I love the small imperfections that add character. All my ceramics are fired twice; the second round is to apply the glaze. This is one of the most difficult aspects of pottery: glaze reacts differently each time so often it does not look like the desired effect. I work with nature’s rich colours: night sky blue, pine forest green, snow white. I can hardly wait for the kiln to cool down after the glaze firing. I spend hours working on a piece, which is then fired to hardness at more than 1200 degrees C for about 10 hours. And then it’s another 12 hours before I can open the kiln and check whether my design is still intact. Oh, the suspense!
Your studio is beautiful…
Thanks. I ended up here in Assendelft by coincidence. The studio is spacious and light. My plants are happy here too and grow really hard. In summer there are sheep in the meadow at the back. This studio, the greenery and the animals are a source of tranquility and inspiration for me. Away from the hectic city, I find my balance.
Walk us through your typical day…
My studio days start at 8:00 a.m. in the morning, in sweatpants, no make-up at all. There’s a lot of waiting involved in making ceramics, so I spend that time on practical matters, like handling orders for my web shop. I prefer not to work at night, but when I’m glazing I just continue until it’s done.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration and ideas come to me when I’m feeling happy and relaxed, when I’m walking through the woods for example. Nature is a great source of inspiration, the colours and the shapes.
If you had to describe Studio Hear Hear in a couple of words, they would be…
Attention, inspiration, creativity and things coming together.
Your passion isn’t limited to ceramics…
I don’t really have a plan, things just happen because I’m interested in new things. I like the idea of sharing and bringing likeminded people together. Last year, I organised plant-swaps in my studio. People traded plants, got to know each other and went back home happy. Next to developing my brand, events and new partnerships, there’s something very exciting on the horizon, which could really change my life. I have plenty of ideas, so whatever happens, 2017 is bound to be a very inspiring year!
image by Danique – Oak & Fir
Find out more about Studio Hear Hear here.
The handcrafted items we sell at Kolifleur only tell one part of the story. In our Meet the Makers series we introduce you to the people behind our designs. Click here for the previous edition with Eva Koolen
Words by Véronique van Hoye