Anne Marie Laureys hasn’t spent a day without clay since beginning her studies in Gent at the Higher Institute of Arts, Saint Lucas.
Her process is to throw classic symmetrical pots, then combine them while they’re still soft and wet to expose a new order. She folds, pulls, collapses, pinches and punctures it. The tension of the clay under her fingers dictates its final shape. She describes this process as “a physical exploration of action, reaction and interaction between hand, mind and material.”
But they are more than that. They have a fragile energy that throbs through her work. We came up with the title “trembling pots” at CFile to explain what they do to us. It’s as though they move ever so slightly, shivering. They are like vulnerable creatures huddling for warmth and safety and as a result her art has a strong anthropomorphic presence.
Although the pieces seem to have a random quality, Laureys takes her time finding the shape of a bowl, remolding and refolding the clay over and over again until it speaks with her unique voice. No two works explore the same space and time. Her ceramics are renowned for their sense of excitement and freshness and they are always exceedingly tactile. She puts an extremely personal sensibility into these thrown and altered forms. These are ceramic artworks of the highest order, which combine clay with emotion. In short, they are metaphors for feeling.
The artist states that she likes ceramics to have a sense of excitement and freshness and they must be tactile. Making, she says, is exploring the physical law of the material, clay, in order to give form at the sensual engagement. She sees it as a celebration of a tense moment of meeting to create spacious, fine, delicate forms that reveal the speed, fluency and the ultra-plasticity of clay. She utilizes an extremely personal sensibility that goes hand in hand with the tension and flexibility of a wet pot.
Among her inspirations is George E. Ohr. “The confrontation with the work of ‘the mad potter of Biloxi’ and his ‘no-two-alike’ creations were extremely incentive to me and my claywork,” she states. “I found a soulmate who lived (a) long time ago.”
In a week’s time Ms. Laureys will be able to enjoy George E. Ohr further when the “mad potter” will be covered in three separate posts here at CFile.
Above image: Studio pottery by Anne Marie Laureys. Photograph courtesy of the Puls Gallery, Brussels.