donderdag 18 september 2014

Workshop with Yep Wiersma - part I

Yeb Wiersma is a visual artist who will take us four times into the city of Amsterdam for an interesting workshop! Today we started 2 am at Tetterode building in the city centre. In the past it was a fabric, but nowadays an art residence with allot of studios. Yeb was introducing her workshop in one of the studios with a cold lemonade on this warm day!
After that we all took a chair into the elevator up to the roof of the building. In Amsterdam there are not so many public buildings which you can climb for a view, so it was very exciting that we got this opportunity!

We were very lucky today with the beautiful clear sunny weather, 26 degrees, so we could look very far away. The views were incredible, to see the mixture of old and new buildings, the canal houses from above and all the traffic which is passing by.
First we started exercising with the chairs we brought. We were sitting in different positions and Yeb was making pictures. It was a strange feeling sitting on the chair, placed half true the railing of the building and with my legs dangling over the abyss!

After that we all got a piece of paper and the assignment was to close your eyes and listen to all the noise around you. On the paper we had to draw and write everything you heard. 
I find a spot on the edge of the building, closed my eys and I tried to distinguish all the different sounds. I could hear all the different sounds of the traffic on the street, an airplane flying above, people talking, the sound of ticking hammers and so on... 

The fourth session of the workshop we will do all together a performance on the street. Today we made groups of 3 people and together we were thinking of 6 movements we could do. I was funny to think of the movements on top of the building. After some practice we presented our movements to the group. Because of the perspective it looked sometimes if people where standing very close to the abyss, but appearances are deceptive!
At the end of the day we biked to the buddhist temple in Amsterdam to experience the city more close by and ended up sitting with a cold drink on a terrace. Yeb was giving us a small quote from the scientist Isaac Newton:

"How to describe the relationship between
a body and the forces acting upon it,
and its motion in response to said forces"

vrijdag 5 september 2014

Terhi Tolvanen - Reinventing Nature

I visited Reinventing Nature, a very beautiful exhibition presenting the jewellery of Terhi Tolvanen. This exhibition was a part of the Natuurkracht exhibition in CODA museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The jewellery was presented in square and rectangular transparant boxes on a long organic wooden table in the shape of wooden tree branch. 

Terhi Tolvanen was born in Helsinki, Finland and the relation of nature and humans is playing a key role in her work. This special exhibition was giving an overview of all the contemporary jewellery she made in the past 15 years.

The jewellery of Terhi Tolvanen is presenting the beauty of inflorescences and processes of growth. A lot of her work find it's origins in fragments of branches. The capriciousness of this material and nature in general, gives her jewellery their tension and rugged strength.

As I'm also very interested in the relationship between humans and nature, I really enjoyed this exhibition. The jewellery of Terhi Tolvanen has an interesting combination of organic materials combined with metal and gemstones. The details were beautiful to look at, as well the interesting new ways of stones settings. Like the example above, were it looks like if the stones are melting together with the necklace.

Interesting to see was the relation ship between nature and "the human touch". Like the piece above were you can recognize wooden branches grown in natural shapes, but arranged in a unnatural way.

Overall I love the work of Terhi Tolvanen. She is presenting the commonly used theme of nature in a contemporary way and combined her concepts with a technical perfection and I, as a perfectionist, could see her eye for details as well!

donderdag 4 september 2014

Start Jewellery Department

First and second year class
Thursday the 4th of september at 12am was the start of the new school year at the Jewellery Department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Today I met all my 6 classmates and it was nice to meet each other.
First of all we started building up the department, by placing all the furniture and everybody could choose a working table. On the moment the furniture was installed, it felt like a game of musical chairs, because everybody was sitting as soon as possible at their favorite place!
My own working space!

Second and third year class
Presentation room "the aquarium"
Our department is quit small, at the entrance there is on left side a working place with all the machines and tools and downstairs a silversmithing room. In the middle of the department there is a room for presentations and group discussions, what we call the aquarium (because of all the class windows!). On the left and right side we have the working space for the first, second and third year students.

Metal workshop
Fire place and enamel ovens

Very old polish machine, heritage of the department!

A spiral staircase leads to the small silversmithing workshop, all the tools are available and the sound proof wall keep the department out of noise!
Fume cupboard and kitchen
Later on in the afternoon we were introduced to the head of the department Rutger Emmelkamp and all the teachers who he selected for this school year. Together we had a aperitif with some drinks and food. The first year students will get lessons from Rutger Emmelkamp (development of the main theme), Pieter Elbers (technical class), Jantje Fleischhut (material research), Ellert Haitjema (personal talks) and Clare Butcher (reading and writing class).

Every two weeks I have class from Rutger and together we will develop our own projects based on the main theme of the year. Once a week we have technical class from Pieter and he is teaching everything about metal. Since I'm already graduated as a professional gold- and silversmith I could chose to skip this lessons, but I like to keep practicing this techniques! Within every assignment I can find something to challenge myself. The lessons from Jantje are following the technical class from Pieter. The only difference is that we will work in all kind of new materials, except of metal.
Ellert will be present for personal talks about the development our own projects and he will look for qualities which are maybe not fitting in the assignments, but worth it for further investigation.
Last but not least Clare, who is presenting a reading and writing class in the morning. In the afternoon there is time for together visiting interesting exhibitions in the city.

The main theme of this year is CAM-OU-FLAGE and Rutger gave us an introduction into this topic. There are so many ways how you can see this theme. He presented some books as inspiration. Because camouflage is also linked to a pattern, our first assignment was to cover a hole wall with our own pattern.
After all the introduction talks I felt happy that I'm a part of a new interesting and inspiring year at the jewellery department!!