Platform for FAIR Dutch designers

Modern vases based on traditional Dutch (Frisian) carved pottery made by master potters in The Netherlands

The Dutch design sister duo of Anke and Nynke Boelens worked together with the brothers Douwe and Wiebren Kunst (master potters) to put a contemporary design on the traditional Frisian technique of carved pottery (kerfsneewerk). As the last professional artisanal potters working with the carved pottery technique left in pottery centre of Workum in Friesland, they wanted to bring this to a wider audience.

Carved pottery is the craft that Douwe and Wiebren Kunst master. The vases designed by ANNY& show the essence of this craft: the patterns which are carved. We have chosen a mix of old and newly designed patterns, also to challenge the brothers to show their skills. The geometric shape of the vase highlights the patterns perfectly

Modern vases - a take on traditional

Dutch pottery technique

What makes this special?

Each vase is hand carved and cut by master potters Douwe and Wiebren Kunst

Preserving traditional crafts

Small rose by Wiebren / Blue green

€265,-

Available in Mint green, Blue green

and Grey.

Small triangles by Douwe / Mint green

€265,-

Available in Mint green, Blue green

and Grey.

 

Large Rose by Wiebren / Grey

€265,-

€265,-

Large Stripes by Douwe / Blue green

Available in Mint green, Blue green

and Grey.

Available in Mint green, Blue green

and Grey.

 

Carved tiles (old & new rosette)

€55 / piece

Available in Mint green, Blue green

and Grey.

 

The designers Anke and Nynke Boelens from ANNY&

The design label ANNY& wants to make the world a little bit nicer and now we do that by creating beautiful living accessories. ANNY & looks to work in a fair and sustainable way with traditional crafts people. They aim to put a fresh and new look based on ancient techniques and the skills of the artisans thereby innovating and maintaining the craft. All the products are made by hand and with passion so they have a story and life of their own.

Sister design duo

ANNY& is from design duo Anke and Nynke Boelens and hence the name. Plus the & represents the important collaboration with the skilled artisan. Nynke is a product designer and studied industrial design at TU Delft and at the art academy in Utrecht. Anke studied interior architecture at the art academy in Groningen. As they are both curious and creative, they found during their travels and studies they liked to discover and investigate traditional crafts and decided a year ago to start ANNY&

 

They were interested to know what crafts were still here in the Netherlands and they were saddened to discover there were few professional artisans left making a living using traditional techniques. The co-operation and exchange of knowledge and ideas with the artisans is very important to them. ANNY& aims to make new products, whilst retaining core of the traditional craft.

 

We have a dream

We actually we have two dreams. Our first dream is that craft people around the world earn a fair wage for a good life by making products. Our second dream for ANNY & is a place where we can offer inspiration in many ways: a shop, a studio space, a reading café for a cup of coffee and a good book or a beautiful magazine, a large space for exhibitions, lectures and workshops .... hopefully it's not just a dream!

The artisans: Douwe and Wiebren Kunst Potters

As pottery makers the two learned pottery from their father and started in the 1970’s in the family artisanal pottery in the centre of Workum in the north of the Netherlands.

Saving traditional Frisan pottery

Shocked when the last workshop in Workum making carved pottery (kerfsneewerk) was quitting five years ago threatening to make this extinct, they jumped in and purchased some examples. They spent three years practising and learning before they were confident and competent enough to start production.

Now they have the carved pottery entirely at their finger tips. In addition to the painting of tiles, plates, and vases they often are now making piggy banks and kerfsnee plates.

 

 

How does Kunst pottery work?

The products for the carved pottery are poured into moulds. After a short drying period, the patterns are carved by hand into the still semi-soft clay. After drying for about a week the carved objects are baked and can then be painted or glazed. The traditional process is all by hand and time consuming.

 

The design inspiration

ANNY & Kunst Pottery – innovating from traditional crafts and artisanal skills

Already at our first visit we saw the beauty of the carved pottery! Traditionally, the patterns (rosettes and geometric patterns) are used to fill the entire surface. We chose to use one pattern on a vase. A part of these patterns are quite old, the other part has been newly designed by us. We also designed two vases with open carved work. With this we really pushed the limits of the carved pottery and we challenged the brothers to try something new.

 

The shape of the vase is modern, in this way the patterns get all the attention they deserve! The traditional kerfsneewerk is hand glazed in three colors; blue, green and red. Therefore, the work is very time consuming and colorful. We have chosen to seek a modern derivative of the colors used; beautiful blue-green hues!

 

The materials

Ceramics clay

Transparent glazing in blue green, mint green and grey pigments

The production

The production is entirely artisanal and small-scale.

Carved pottery.

1 /  Moulding

The products for carved pottery are poured into moulds

The clay products must first gradually dry for a few days, depending on the weather.

3 /  Baking

They are then baked to stone in the oven.

Once the clay is the correct hardness the cutting and carving can start.

First a precise pattern is made with a compass, and thereafter the shapes can be cut out or carved. For this time consuming work we use special blades.

If the clay articles are cut out, we dry them for another week, depending on the weather.

The large vase glasing posed a challenge! The immersion technique used by the brothers Kunst was not suitable for our size and the type of glaze vases that we wanted to use. Frans Ottink from Studio Zand was our savior! He has glazed the vases by hand in a spray booth. At his studio we have also made two hundred of test tiles with different colour glaze, looking for that one beautiful colour.

2  /  Patterns, carving and cutting

4  / Glazing

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