grail-01

grail 02

grail 03

grail 04

series 1

series 2

series 3

series 4

grail 05

grail 06

grail 07

grail 08

series 5

series 6

series 7

series 8

grail 09

grail 02

grail 011

grail 012

series 9

series 10

series 11

series 12

 

grail 013-14

grail-014-15

 

 

series 13 14

 

series 15 16

 

 

some thoughts about the 2008 grails

The grails

Finally, in 2008 I started to make grails once more.

Not reconstructions of the holy grail (as I made in the 80's and 90's of the last Century), but 'simple' deformed porcelain chalices: bowls that seem to float in or on the black scaffolding.

I made 55 grails, to celebrate or maybe commemorate each year I was allowed to live up to that time.

A wonderful life, worth a grail per year...

 

 

maybe read word versus image on why I stopped making the reconstructions

 

p

A feeble balance

For me, the grail stands for the good and the deceptive, while the deformation tells about the feeble balance of our being.

The shiny bowl is supported by a black construction that may remind you of architecture (buildings, stairways and scaffolding).

These objects refer to highs and lows in a person's life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

p

the ultimate piece of ceramics

The choice of a chalice shape is a conscious one, as it may well have been the first item made by man to be used for drinking.

Of course, what defines a human being is the drive to control his environment, to make things…

Ceramics is the oldest material with which utilitarian goods were produced in larger quantities .

And with that, the chalice is the ultimate piece of ceramics.

To me, this is the connotation with the history of the human race.

The chalice as a symbol of human BEING: the energy.

 

p

a spiritual object

Almost every civilisation has a grail-myth of some kind. My grail-myth is the Christian version about the chalice that came to Albion and plays an important role in the Arthur Saga.
A chalice can be translated into ceramics, more important: it is part of the mystical world I grew up in.

Without it, the world is lost. Famine, draught, plague, you name it. It takes a pure-hearted person to recover the grail in order to restore the balance of good and evil.

It is the story told over-and-over in so many Hollywood films

My grails is where God lives. The shiny, radiant cup, a holy container, pure and simple.

 


porcelain

The bowl is set apart from its support by so many things: one is that the support is black porcelain, roughly put together and even whacky. The support looks unfinished.
The bowl however, made in shiny white, or red and blue metallic surfaces, gold, platinum or even 'simple' eggshell porcelain to symbolize the good.

They are deformed by the fire, fired so high, they are almost destroyed in the process.

Of course made in porcelain, as porcelain is loaded with connotations.
It is most difficult to work with, but the most beautiful and purest material, somewhere between glass and ceramics.
It always had an air of being expensive, only available to the rich, but over the years its iconic and emotional values have decreased.

 

nothing lasts forever

These ‘collapsed’ grails are in fact a comment on the frailty of our life. Nothing is forever and nothing lasts.
They are made in one of the hardest materials that seems to endure centuries, but can be destroyed in one little accident.

Mankind destroys and rebuilds Nature destroys and 'rebuilds'.

With the reconstructions of the holy grail, the grails were perfect on the inside while weathered on the outside. Now they are glazed highly shining both on the inside and out.
Now, is the 'foot' that is barely holding up the burden of the bowl, a symbol of the burden of life?

 

 

 

 

The foot

The foot is a construction, in which the bowl floats, by which it is supported.
It is made of porcelain with a black (black is the absence of colour, or all colours mixed together) sinterengobe.
Black absorbs, attracts, but doesn’t distract from the brightly coloured bowl it carries.
The foot reminds us of incomplete buildings, of scaffolding, of building sites.

 

 

 

building and urbanisation

All over the world people build.

From an airplane one can see roads and tracks even in the most uninhabitable regions, across mountains and through forests. Roads are a sign that land is eaten up by humans.

Man builds at incredible speed, chops down forests, levels mountains and now, in modern days, chases farmers off their land to satisfy modern city’s ever increasing lust for land.

 

the Manhattan Series

The year 2005 was the turning point where for the first time more than half the world’s population lives in cities.
this is the year in which I made the Manhattan Series.

This project that started in 1998 and was finally realized in 2005.
A metropole’s skyline compressed in shiny white porcelain.

 

 

 

chaos supporting der Vollendung

In these most recent grails you can read my comments on this building frenzy: the scaffolding is reclining, the logic of the construction often is lacking, it leans towards chaos.

The scaffolding, the stacking…, the lost or incomplete architecture serves no other purpose than to carry the bowl: the grail.

or in German: "der Vollendung"

 

 

light versus darkness

Completely in contrast with the construction, the bowl sparkles with light.

The extremely thin layer of metal on the smooth glaze reflects the light like a mirror, with some even the colour changes with the amount of light.

Light is good. We feel better in light, darkness makes us unsure.

God is light, the devil is darkness. A grail can only be considered a grail if it unites the contradictions.

 

contrasts

There is no good without evil, no mountain without a valley. Wealth can only exist by the grace of poverty and if everyone owns a car, we all get stuck in traffic jams, in a way ultimately no-one has a car.

Without contrasts our lives would be unbearably dull.

Sadness, joy, thin, thick, sour, sweet, healthy, ill... it all exists in order for us to realize that we are alive!
We are always looking for the grail, knowing all too well we will never find it.

 


see the complete catalogue on pdf