Bernardine Walrecht, Design as Art: Postmodernism at the International Design Symposium



Views: 1304

iPod HD

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0  License Embed
Embed Options

Copy and paste the above html snippet to embed this video into your blog or web page.

Select a size:
  • Normal
    426 x 240
  • Large
    640 x 360
Royal Tichelaar Makkum
Visit the website of Royal Tichelaar Makkum, the oldest company in the Netherlands.

Jump | More
Introduction to the Design Symposium

Jump | More
Learn more about Bernardine's company
the Dutch Design Agency, in Amsterdam.

Jump | More
The History of the Netherlands
This deceptive site looks like it is written in Dutch- but it's not! Poke around and learn some more about the history of the Netherlands.

Jump | More
Contemporary Maiolica
Pick up a copy to read about some of the exciting things happening in European stoneware and ceramics.

Jump | More
Famous Blue Delft Pottery
Interested in the Delft Pottery of the Netherlands? Learn more about the history of the art form and see how Tichelaar Makkum fits in to the story.

Jump | More
Blog Your Art Out!
Read some of the responses from Design Symposium attendees as well as other readers of the IMA's daily blog.

Jump | More
Marcel Wanders
Learn more about the artist Marcel Wanders, who has several works in European Design since 1985.

Jump | More
More work by Jurgen Bey
Interested in the thought-provoking work of Dutch artist Jurgen Bey? Visit his website and learn about his new projects.

Jump | More
Love the look? See more of Hella's work at JongeriusLab.

Jump | More
Studio Job

Jump | More
See this set in "European Design since 1985"
See this earthenware set designed by Hella Jongerius in the Indianapolis Museum of Art's 2009 exhibition, "European Design since 1985."

Jump | More
Love the color white?
Studio Job loves white things, too. See images from a Flickr group of pictures of white objects, including poodles, white tigers and snow lilies.

Jump | More
Gallery Space in Milan
Watch a tour of the Royal Tichelaar Makkum space Bernardine mentions in Milan, which is showcasing the Makkum artist's interpretations of the flower pyramid vase.

Jump | More
Clay Pearls
You can make your own necklace out of the beautiful Makkum pearls, available from the website.

Jump | More
See another video from the Design Symposium

Jump | More
Interested in the rest of the Symposium?
Sorry you missed it! Check the exhibition website to see our gallery, artist directory and to learn more about the symposium.

Jump | More
0 / 17

Bernardine Walrecht (Co-founder, Dutch Design Agency - The Netherlands) discusses Royal Tichelaar Makkum, the Netherlands' oldest company and manufacturer of earthenware at the European Design Symposium hosted by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Are you for real? Please answer this challenge to prove you're not a spam bot.

00:00:00 I am going to read it because it’s such a long story. Catharine said it’s a company of 300 years but actually it's over 450 years old

00:00:10 and it’s hard to do a story about such an old company in 15 minutes, so probably I will be a little longer.

00:00:19 Well I said my name is Bernardine Walrecht and I am standing here on behalf of the manufacturer of earthenware Royal Tichelaar Makkum from the Netherlands and its director Jan Tichelaar

00:00:30 whom I am replacing actually. I have to bring over Jan's apologies for not being here himself but alas developments for the Salon and Milano needed too much attention,

00:00:42 as you might understand. [laughter]

00:00:48 I brought his picture though to let you have a peak of him. Actually, he would kill me if he knew I asked his secretary to get it but... [laughter]

00:00:59 never tell him. To give you a perspective, this is where we are. I have a big disadvantage to Jan because he can always start his lecture with saying "Hi....I am Jan Tichelaar

00:01:19 and I am the 13th generation of Tichelaar’s who have been in charge of the company," and that usually is enough to make people's jaw drop.

00:01:28 On the other hand though I have the advantage of being a relative outsider and therefore entitled to brag a bit about his beautiful little company something Jan Tichelaar in all modesty refuses to do,

00:01:42 but let me briefly introduce myself. I said my name is Bernardine Walrecht and I have been working as a freelance adviser to Mr. Tichelaar and his company for the past seven years.

00:01:51 I was involved in the development of plans regarding the first presentation in Milano in 2002 and since then it’s a yearly event for the company to release new products.

00:02:03 I helped with advice about product development and give direction to the official identity of the company and presentations, exhibitions, shop, website look, etc.

00:02:13 Over the years, however, Jan Tichelaar found his way in this field very well and nowadays only needs occasional advice, so I am afraid I made myself redundant. [laughter]

00:02:23 Not so smart. Next to that I am the Director of Dutch Design Agency, a company coaching design talent, consulting businesses in need of design, and intermediating between those two.

00:02:36 Also, I am since 2003 Head Of the Department at AIVE, Design Academy, Eindhoven where I also graduated and actually started my studies in design in 1985,

00:02:46 so you can imagine that I really liked Craigs, and the other ones, exhibits yesterday evening. Now let me zoom in,

00:02:58 here is the Netherlands and there in the north where the A is and on the rim of the Waddenzee, part of the North Sea in a province called Friesland, there is Makkum.

00:03:13 The company exists since 1572 and since then they have continuously been baking clay for almost 450 years now. The first proof of this is the Spanish map in which it states Brickaria meaning brick factory.

00:03:34 It’s the oldest company in the Netherlands as said and interesting detail is that Royal Tichelaar is a company that was not, as most better known ceramic companies are, producing intentionally for royalty or aristocracy

00:03:45 but instead for more well to do farmers or citizens. From around 1700, oh, here is Makkum, this is what the company still looks like.

00:03:58 From around 1700s the brick making was replaced by the making of domestic pottery, simple usable earthenware and simple tiles.

00:04:08 Two hundred years later this was replaced by the making of more refine tiles, as you see here and whole interiors were decorated with them

00:04:25 and then they made ornamental pieces.

00:04:36 One thing stayed the same after all these years, the clay... oh yeah, I am now getting it... I have to look down... always.... this what.... stupid me. [laughter]

00:04:50 Friesland sea clay was a slightly yellow color when fired. Along side the European coastlines you see all sorts of typical simple earthenware mostly called majolica.

00:05:01 The clays formed or shaped in a mold, fired once, and decorated with glazer brushstrokes and after that glazed in a simple earthenware, a simple... sorry simple lead glazer.

00:05:13 Later on the decoration was done in a more refined way and straight on onto the unfired white tin glazer. This is called faience.

00:05:21 Here is a shaving bowl..... a jewel face..., a jug and you can see that it’s not only blue that’s been used and especially in Makkum they used a lot of red, green, yellow together with the blue.

00:05:45 Let me see. After that the object is fired for the second time and bases and decoration flow into each other to become a beautiful unity. In 1890, white fired clay was introduced from England by (Josiah) Wedgewood

00:05:57 due to the development of the railways and lots of companies switched to the cheaper production method that white clay brought instead of having to glaze the biscuit with a white tin glazer as bases

00:06:08 one could immediately put decoration on the clay, fire it and glaze it with a transparent glazer. Cheeper and more efficient but the beautiful flowing of glazer into glazer, this superior, but not so in Makkum

00:06:20 where they held on to their own way. But, alas, in the 1980s and 90s the production was shrinking violently due to decreasing question and interest from the public in ceramics on a whole.

00:06:35 Efficient modernist formed and cold hard materials with sharp edges were trendier during this period of 80s design and even the mentioning of clay was rather name calling than anything else. [laughter]

00:06:46 At the end of the 90s the situation was therefore on one hand paralyzing for Royal Tichelaar but on the other hand it brought opportunities and that is what Jan took. His took was sold and Tichelaar started to produce by assignment.

00:07:02 Therefore, it was possible to develop more new products for new markets thus more work and was possible to work closer to designers.

00:07:16 During this time, oh, still one left, something specific happened. Hella Jongerius came along. She took with her the designs of the B-set as you see here, surface in porcelain in which the particular concept was

00:07:36 that the shapes were deformed by oven heat. Jan Tichelaar told Hella that they didn’t do any porcelain because they had hardly any experience with it

00:07:43 since they always use their own earthenware, sea clay, but when Hella insisted and remarked that the whole point of surface was the imperfection, Jan thought

00:07:52 why not try and that was the start of a beautiful design friendship. At that point I worked a lot for Hella especially in making presentations for her

00:08:03 and also helping with some curating jobs. So, I also met Jan Tichelaar and we came to talk much about how to go on with Tichelaar in relation to design

00:08:11 and we decided it would be good to ask some designers to make a product family, especially reacting on a question from Tichelaar. Jan was worried a bit because of the main skills of the company were in trouble because of lack of attention from the public

00:08:27 and that was the hand painting on earthenware. After lots of conversations we decided it would be a good idea to ask three designers from a certain stature and take the big step of presenting the company

00:08:39 with that new work in Milano. The designers were thoroughly briefed and asked to make a design in earthenware with the Makkum clay in the technique of the tin glazing, the faience,

00:08:51 and with the use of the skills of the hand painters. The designers asked for Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders, and Jurgen Bey.

00:08:59 And the collection was called a little provocatively Nothing New. Marcel Wanders designed the patchwork plates, you can see them in the exhibition.

00:09:12 Based on existing plate molds he made of feast of decorations using both hand painting as well as screen printing in order to make a differentiation in price so one could buy as well a very expensive plate with gold luster,

00:09:26 for example, or buy one that was much more affordable.

00:09:32 Jurgen Bey made the Minuten tea set, tea sets in which he asked the painters to use a specific amount of time to paint and then abruptly stop.

00:09:41 The underlayer of the decor which is usually put up with a sponge was charcoal that burns away after firing was this time put up the surface was a grey glazing thus showing the unfinished decor

00:09:54 as the painters stopped finishing it. Hella designed the soup set. She also came up with two variations,

00:10:04 a more affordable one and the luxurious one with a printed of transferred decor of a ship that was divided over nine bowls

00:10:12 and the luxurious version were the same print was hand painted on with beautiful sepia color.

00:10:21 The exhibition was a small success we found and therefore we thought it would be good idea to every year go to Milan and make that a focus point in the development of the collection.

00:10:39 So, the next year for the Salona in 2004, we asked Studio Job to challenge the traditional shapes rather than the decors.

00:10:49 Job chose for reinterpretating five architectural shapes from the existing collection

00:10:54 and he called it Still Life. It was the piggy bank. This squirrel, he changed usual piggy into a squirrel because he said squirrels are really saving [laughter]

00:11:10 and piggies really eat everything up. [laughter] A clock, a vase, a box, and a flat candlestick. The five artifacts were produced in three variations,

00:11:29 the white one, the hand painted one, as this one is, and the one with excellence in transfer technique and that’s the one you can also see

00:11:36 I think three pieces of them in the exhibition. In 2005, Hella made the collection non-temporary and we asked her to interpret one of the companies histories, major products from between 1700 and 1900 the majolica plates.

00:11:58 Such plates rather basic and for daily domestic use were produced in great numbers. To keep the price low, the back was covered with cheap transparent lead glazing

00:12:07 while the front was typically from majolica tin glazed with tin glazed white with a simple or elementary decoration. The glazing was and is achieved by immersion or dipping.

00:12:22 In her design Hella Jongerius accentuated prominently the transition from transparent to white and the let the plates plunge in the glazing only partially which adds the separation to the elementary decoration.

00:12:36 The year after that we launched Biscuits by Studio Job again. We approached him for an entirely new project.

00:12:47 He had acquired a rather basic press which had been made obsolete many years ago

00:12:53 by vastly more efficient machines for the ceramic industry. Its advantage, however, is that it allows deeper reliefs than your average state of the art tool.

00:13:02 After two years of finding a suitable clay and getting to grips with porcelain Studio Job was signed on for developing a new collection.

00:13:10 Biscuit counts nine different white plates, as you see them here stacked onto each other, and five objects based on the designers characteristics interwoven with fairy tales and imaginative figures

00:13:25 with white as an all embracing team. So, white poodle you see here, but there is also the white house which you all know. The five objects are different [unclear speech] with a function such as a vase, a box, a candle, or a lantern

00:13:41 and the plates are richly decorated with three reliefs. In 2007, a new approach was chosen, not handicraft or history were taken as central theme, but whether or not traditional methods could still produce practical products.

00:13:57 Dick van Hoff was the artist of choice to give it go and he proceeded by choosing the desk rather than the living room or dinner table as bases. The outcome was the series Work made of five desk ornaments,

00:14:09 two desk lamps, a clock, a vase, and a pen tray. The series is unusual and that the pieces are made in a functional blend of wood and ceramics.

00:14:18 The products would actually be highly impractical without wooden structures which turned them from ornaments into utensils.

00:14:30 Last year the periods of Makkum were inspired by the complex restoration of an authentic 17th century flower pyramid for the Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. An exact replica of the showpiece was the starting point for a new interpretation by the regular Tichelaar designers,

00:14:45 Hella, Jurgen, Job and by then also Alexander van Slobbe. They gave her interpretation of the flower pyramid from a contemporary perspective.

00:14:54 The result is a most impressive display of five top pieces of art, traditional replica and the four contemporary interpretations all made in original faience.

00:15:06 The series has been produced in a limited edition of seven and here you see peak of them in Gallery Moss in New York.

00:15:17 At this point it may be clear to you that for Tichelaar it is key to crossover with design. It’s just working very well. With Alexander van Slobbe, a fashion designer and since this year Creative Director of the design academy in Eindhoven, Tichelaar has made pearls of Makkum,

00:15:39 I am wearing one. And other jewelry and fashion accessories like buttons and so on for the fashion he makes, and of course there are all these very interesting cooporations with architects.

00:15:56 This is the factory where all the things are made.

00:16:07 Because within the company we make objects, do restorations, but also do a lot of research and development with architects helping out the dreams and wishes for tiles that can't be made hardly anywhere else anymore

00:16:18 because of the vanishing knowledge. Here you see some restoration projects mostly from the beginning of the 20th century because then a lot of craftsmanship was still used in architecture.

00:16:30 So here is the museum in the Hague by Berlage, Dudok, and some toilets in the [unclear speech] factory from the [unclear speech].

00:16:50 Another to discover the problems in developing a certain look and feel in glazer was Ettore Sottsass.

00:16:58 He heard at last of Tichelaar and asked him to help him out and that was for his seven villas I think in Singapore.

00:17:08 I show you very briefly because I only have less than a minute left, some more architectural products by Kohn Pedersen Fox in London.

00:17:21 Here is a detail, bonze metal glazing, Koen van Velsen, it's the office of the technical university in Eindhoven, also a sort of a metal glazing.

00:17:32 Apartment building by MVRDV was a shifting glazing. A drawing by [unclear speech] and tryout one of the three tryouts that already did for [unclear speech] but nothing was built yet so may be Mr.[unclear speech] can help us out here

00:18:00 Here in the US of A in New York City the Museum of Art and Design by Allied Works Architects,

00:18:14 on the corner of Central Park within iridescent glazer which catches the light and changes the thing all the time.

00:18:22 Then very briefly back again at the bases, Makkum where the factory and shop are, just want to give you a quick peak into the shop, the interior design by [unclear speech]

00:18:34 traditional and contemporary go hand in hand with the tiling, showing of some tile possibilities in the bathrooms

00:18:44 and proudly exhibiting the crafts. And this is where my story stops and of course you could always check the website Thank you very much!