Can you pinpoint a memorable moment in your pottery career?
Opening the kiln for the first time was such a special moment. I also remember the astonishing time when my master Anton Andert centred one of my vases on the pottery wheel with just one kick.
Do you remember the first ceramic piece you made?
Yes, it was a candlestick in the shape of a ship. Very plain, very clear and the candles somehow represented the masts. My very first piece is a special memory, but it's always magical when I open the kiln to discover that a particular shape has really worked out well.
© Melanie Van der Donk
Where do you get inspiration for your shapes and glazes?
As pottery is such an ancient craft, there is almost no totally new shape. The point is to reinvent them with your own character, energy and strength. Inspiration, for me, come from nature – colours of rocks, shapes of plants – and also contemporary art and the ceramics of the Sung dynasty.
Do you see yourself as an artist or an artisan?
I do not see myself as a pure craftswoman, but rather also as an artist. This manifests itself in my constantly evolving work and the resulting
unique pieces, my research work in silicate chemistry and the attempt to combine form and
surface to create a harmonious whole.