With an inclination towards everyday life, simple function and basic techniques I set out to create handmade utilitarian objects. Using only the clay, my hands and a stick. Fairly introverted and certainly without explicable rational arguments. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to go back to basics and start from scratch order to move forward.
Since there are so many excellent cups, bowls and plates in the world to compare them with, the first of my hand-pinched objects appeared so clumsy that they hardly seemed to reflect a deliberate necessary act. The ‘new’ beginning stayed on course only thanks to collegial encouragement, manual labour and sufficient time to go in depth with the project. Perhaps the problem was that my thinking was literally too small and limited? Slowly, in step with the inherently low tempo of the pinching process, the forms grew bigger, and the ideas freer. The servings and arrangements more generous. Gradually, self-imposed restraint is transcended, transitioning into enjoyable exuberance. It is no longer my limited idea alone, but the entire process – the clay, the craftsmanship and the matt coloured glazes – that drives the expression in a process of synthesis. Simple hand-pinching seems to reveal its potential in extravagant specialties.
They never turned out as humble everyday objects! What began as a sincere attempt to rediscover the qualities of down-to-earth basics has manifested itself in something almost exotic and alien – and in a nearly synthetic aesthetic. And that is good. That means there was a reason to go all the way. It is the nature of art – and crafts – sometimes to result in something other and more than the anticipated.
Ole Jensen Marts 2018