The well known Belgian contemporary ceramic artist is also a designer. Ann Van Hoey seeks what she calls a “flawless order and geometric logic” with her work. Her designs for the Serax company, Enchanting Geometry, present these shapes through a style reminiscent of Japanese origami. This relates directly to he art where she folds clay to create simple, elegant bowl forms. The works are crafted in bone china.
Her site states that ever since she visited Japan, Van Hoey was inspired by origami and applied the folding technique to thin sheets of clay, “thus ensuring fluidity, sobriety and deliberate minimalism of design in her creations.” The works put all of their emphasis on the relationships between squares, triangles and straight lines. They are thin and their delicate cuts serve to reinforce the “purity” of each design. Serax states that many of her works start out as mathematical equations before they’re ever realized in porcelain.
A description on her web site talks about the subtle dialogue of geometry present in her cups:
“Once the hemisphere has been origamied with help of the three-dimensional medium, the circle is barely different from the four corners of the square. The circle and the square begin to speak a common tongue, blurring the undeniable line between the two.
“Losing one of the four corners of the square, the circle seems to absorb its new interloper, the triangle…
“The circle holds out and does not give quarter. But what happens when it is exposed to the characteristics of the straight line, the shortest journey between two points? The ‘biangle’ allows the circle to preserve its honour and the essential aspect of its shape. It even manages, alone or perhaps rather with the help of the straight line, to evoke a shape that, in geometry, can only result from the intersection of two circles.
“And now for the final challenge: will the point shatter the integrity of the circle? Far from it: after combining with the point, the circle produces a ‘monoangle,’ the ensemble emerging with an unforeseen result full of biomorphic allure; a drop of water, the source of all life on earth.
Ann Van Hoey (b. 1956) graduated with a masters in economic sciences from the University of Antwerp in 1979. In 2006 she graduated in ceramics at the Institute for Arts and Craft in Mechelen, Belgium. She became a member of the International Academy of Ceramists in 2011. She’s held solo exhibitions in Delft, the Netherlands; Geneva, Paris and Brussels and has participated in group exhibitions in New York City, Milan, London and Munich. She was a prizewinner at the Open to Art Competition, Officine Saffi in Milan in 2014. She won the Silver Prize at the 8th Cheongju International Craft Competition in 2013 and she was the winner of the Emerging Artist People’s Choice Contest by Ceramics Monthly in 2013.
What do you think of these minimally-stated but complex designs? Let us know in the comments.