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Those who visited our last Loft pop-up might remember the beautiful ceramics piled in the kitchen and elegantly decorating the robust table. They are all handmade in Amsterdam by Annemieke Boots, an autodidact ceramist with a soft aesthetic and earthy palette. We were intrigued by her work and sat down for a chat about what inspires her.
Hi Annemieke, welcome to The Loft. For anyone who doesn’t know you – yet – tell us a bit about yourself and your ceramics studio.
Annemieke Boots, self-taught ceramics artists since three years and owner of my own studio since two.
When did you start working with clay and why?
A couple of years ago I took a sabbatical after eight years of hard work running my own shop. Initially, a year seemed like a lot of time but it turned out to be just right to think about how I wanted to continue workwise. We have a small cabin in the south of Sweden, in the Varberg docklands there’s a pottery shop. I dropped by to check it out and Ingvar – the potter – was working the wheel. Fascinated, I asked him if I could have a look. He must have seen the twinkle in my eyes because he immediately asked me if I wanted to learn the craft. Absolutely! A week later I was having a go at it for the first time; I felt the clay in my hands and felt a shiver creep up my spine and tears fill my eyes. That’s when I knew this was what I wanted to do, it was such an intuitive and pure feeling. In the end I ended up with little spare time that year and spent most of my time mastering the art of pottery. I even bought my own wheel and spent hours on end. I guess that is the beginning of my story! But of course, I always had an appreciation for beautiful ceramics.
What inspires you?
I am a very visual person. I can easily be inspired by nature – the textures, the shapes – the city, items I own or images from my favourite magazines, books and even talks. These impressions start to take shape in my head, giving me a certain image and feel. Sometimes I put this into a sketch, but it usually takes shape when I’m behind the pottery wheel. Even if it’s a commissioned project, the shape always arises from the wheel itself.
Any artists you admire?
I admire artists like Edmund de Waal, a ceramist. Rothko because of his talent to create two dimensional works that feel three dimensional, Rodin and Giacometti because of their approach to shape, Hella Jongerius because of her keen eye for material and form.
If you had to be part of an artist group or movement, what would it be?
I feel very at home in the ‘slow movement’, conscious living and an appreciation for details; enjoying the small things in daily life. Ceramics is in a way a slow paced art. You can’t rush clay, it takes time and attention to shape it, dry it, fire it, glaze it, fire it some more and then finish it.
What’s next for your studio? Any sneak peeks you can give us?
I want to focus on my own collections, limited editions. I also want to finish up on a new website with an online shop. A collection crafted from Swedish clay…
Thank you for your time Annemieke, we cant wait to see what else you’ll be making!
Annemieke’s favourite inspiring spots in Amsterdam:
Like what you see? head over to our webshop to buy more Annemieke Boots ceramics.