When and how did you start being a maker?
I started out in Scotland, working as a glass assistant, producing my own work in the holidays. I set up my workshop in 1991 using rental glassblowing studios and equipment at art colleges. By 2006, I was back in Holland again and was able to set up my own furnace and produce work in my own workshop.
Why did you choose glass as your medium?
Because of its seemingly endless possibilities. To shape it with your own breath, to stretch and pull it, the heat. Glassblowing is so physical; I really love it. Can you imagine being able to create a shape from liquid? And by contrast, to carve and cut it when it has cooled down.
When is a memorable moment from your career?
Most recently, I completed a commission for a seven-meter-long site-specific installation in a private customer’s house. I created a large swarm consisting of 600 glass birds, suspended from the ceiling. I wanted to bring the sparrows back into the old farmhouse.
What do you love most about glassmaking?
Being my own boss. Creating things with my own hands, making work that inspires others. To truly enjoy what I do, every day. To get up in the morning and think: oh, I can blow glass again today. Being able to exercise my freedom and expression through my work.