With sculpting Franciscus found he could now and again avoid the difficult abstraction to working three dimensions into a flat surface. Ofcourse new challenges manifested themselves. Without a frame or background the figures have to tell the ‘story’ on their own and should be able to work in a variety of environments. Figures from all ages and times appear, some of them inspired by artworks of his beloved old masters.
PLates and vases
At residencies, in Jingdezhen China and the European Ceramic Centre, Franciscus started to make vases in editions. Delfts bleu plates he uses as a sketch book or as an alternative diary.
A.I.R. in Jingdezhen
Nine international artists, alumni of the European Ceramic Work Centre, were invited to work at Taoxichuan International Studio’s in Jingdezhen, since 2000 years ceramic capital of China.
The pieces we created at the Studio’s were part of the exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the E.K.W.C. In this show also nine Chinese artists were included.
Working in Jingdezhen is different than in the Netherlands. Porcelain and clay are different. Glazes are cheap and readymade. Molding and casting factories are there in abundance to do the work for you with great speed, excellence and expertise. One can find so called ‘masters’ to help you in every discipline in the field of ceramics.
Jingdezhen breathes ceramic and I learned a lot in a short period of time.
We had little more than two months to fill the huge Toaxichuan Gallery. These are selected works that I made to make during this artist in residence period.
Making ceramic sculptures was introduced to Franciscus by Dutch ceramist Carolein Smit.
Franciscus stayed with her several times in her Belgian studio and received spontaneous master classes from her.The medium of clay astonishes Franciscus in a similar way to painting because of the simplicity and the earthly nature of the material.
Choosing bronze gives the chance to create objects and figures on extreme small bases. Sometimes the figures seem to literally want to rise from their pedestals.