A look behind the scenes: ceramics by Ann Rose!
Who is Ann Rose?
‘We are Annemarie and Roos, and we have been friends since the seventh grade. We both like to focus on personal development, each in our own way. Roos has recently started working as an awareness coach and Annemarie will soon complete two courses; one as a naturopathic therapist and one in breath coaching.
It is our dream to combine our creativity and working with our hands, together with coaching and naturopathic therapy. In addition, we are organizing a retreat this year for anyone who would like to get closer to themselves, let go of old patterns and focus on healing. We are very much looking forward to providing a space to come together and develop. This is certainly a common thread through our lives and we are, therefore, very busy organizing our future plans as unique and communal as possible. For example, we dream of living with our best friends on a piece of land where we can live as self-sufficiently as possible. Ofcourse including a large studio in nature, where everyone is always welcome to be and create.'
How did Ann Rose come about?
‘At the end of 2020, Roos quited her full-time job at the migration service of the national government. Both the content and the grind of working 9 to 6 began to take its toll. A week after she quit her job, Roos bought a contractor bus which she transformed into a campervan in the winter months (2021). Through this process she regained more and more energy and zest for life. One thing was clear: she wanted to work with her hands! During this period Annemarie was finishing her Bachelor's degree at the VU. Studying was certainly not a source of energy for Annemarie. She’d rather spend her time connecting with people or getting her hands dirty by working with clay.
How did the collaboration with Wiezewasjes come about?
'Together with Wieske, we discussed the vibe and the feeling we wanted to convey with this
ceramics collection. After that, we started creating designs! We’ve been inspired by many
spiritual and mythical expressions. The moon, a spiral, a yin yang sign or stars, are examples of
shapes and patterns we used. These are also corresponding with the identity of Wiezewasjes.
This manifested into a beautiful series of designs!
Then we started experimenting with the actual product. The working of the clay, the coating, the
glaze, the paint, color combinations and so on. These try-outs are allowing us to see whether a
design also works in reality. Then the first products were shown to Wieske, who quickly
responded and pointed out the ones which resonated with her, so that we could move on to the next phase. In this phase we, for the first time, worked with solid gold painted onto the ceramics. At this stage, the designs already looked a lot like the final collection. The final designs were chosen from the second set of try-outs. There it was, a collection ceramics that was completely Wiezewasjes style!’
Can you describe the production process of one jewelry tray for Wiezewasjes?
‘A unique ceramic item doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a step by step process to create a special
Wiezewasjes tray. The production process of one jewelry tray takes an average of 15 days. A lot
of time is taken by the drying processes and the firing of the ceramics. This sometimes takes
almost two whole days. Fun fact: from clay, to the final product, we handle it almost 15 times!
- We start by working with the clay. A ceramic tray is formed by hand or made by using the pottery wheel. When we turn a bowl, we weigh out exactly how much clay is needed for a specific model so that they all become (almost) the same size and weight. This way we can work as consistently as possible.
- After the clay has the right shape, it is dried in the open air for about a day. This makes the clay a bit firmer and any rough edges or bumps can still be corrected. Everything can now be smoothed out.
- After finishing, all items are dried for about a week before going into the kiln for the first firing. This first firing is called the biscuit firing and is done at 1040 degrees. It often takes up to 36 hours for the oven to warm up and cool down enough to open it safely.
- After the ceramic trays are fired, they are ready for the glaze phase. This phase starts with ensuring the products are dust-free by whiping them with a damp sponge so that the glaze can adhere well.
- For this project we used a number of different glazes that are all processed in a different way. The effect glazes with speckles need 3 layers whereas the transparent glaze only needs 1. It is essential that the ceramic has completely dried up before applying the next layer of glaze.
- When all layers of glaze are applied, we finish the edges and bottom with a wet sponge so that everything looks nice and neat.
- We then put the Wiezewasjes logo on the bottom of the ceramics with special pottery ink and a stamp.
- Then it's time for the glaze firing. This is done at 1050 degrees and is one of the most exciting firings because this is when the true colours of the glaze become visible. After firing, the colors are completely different from when we applied them. This firing is always a puzzle as the items are absolutely not allowed to touch one another! If this happens, the items will melt together.
- Now, after firing the glaze, all items got their final color and it’s time for the golden touch. We paint the trays with solid gold, and create beautiful golden drawings on the ceramics. First everything is must be well degreased and cleaned, then it is time to draw! We make all these paintings by hand with a small brush.
- After applying the gold luster it is time for the last firing. This last round is a bit less hot than the previous rounds and happens at 790 degrees.
After 15 days and 10 important steps a Wiezewasjes ceramic tray is ready to make someone really happy!