English text translated from “Dutch Ceramics 1975/1985” by Mieke G. Spruit – Ledeboer

Anne van der Waerden

Within strict, self-imposed constraints, Anne van der Waerden seeks balanced forms that reflect her own spiritually oriented life philosophy. The depth of her work and her continuous pursuit of perfection place her among the best ceramic artists in our country. She creates both wheel-thrown vase sculptures and freehand-built forms. Since 1977, her vase sculptures have often consisted of multiple parts. A wide dish or a bell-shaped rising vase is placed on a pedestal, as is customary in Chinese ceramics, with a focus on achieving balance between the supporting and supported parts. Since 1979, a third segment, resembling the pedestal in shape, is sometimes added by double-walled turning of the central form (see image 20). The finish with glazes is always exceptionally beautiful.

In 1980, the forms temporarily take on a strict geometric character: cylinders and spherical forms are balanced against each other. In 1982, after her trip to Peru, she creates forms that, in contrast to her earlier “grounded” works, clearly rise upward, as if “floating off the pedestal like balloons” (see image 20). Simple chalice or goblet shapes also reappear at this time.

While with the vase sculptures, the play with forms and the balance of parts are paramount, the freehand forms primarily address spatial aspects. Anne starts from the basic idea that a ceramic form must be hollow: that is, it must enclose a space that seems to expand, creating tension. Up to 1978, these volumes are mostly pyramid- or block-shaped, and then often round or oval (see images 4 and 139). The form is accentuated by relief lines. The tension between the inner space and the enclosing wall is made visible through narrow slits and openings. In the work “Integration” (1981, see image 139), there is a gradual transition from a square opening to a round contour, from a dark hole to a light wall. For Anne, this is an important work in which she gives shape to a rediscovered unity within herself. Often, Anne’s sculptures have this meditative character, which elevates the work beyond pure play with form, line, and space.

Technique: Earthenware, wheel-thrown or hand-formed. Copper, tin, or nickel oxide is added to a (lithium-zinc) base glaze or an engobe layer, which is covered with transparent glaze. It is fired in an electric kiln at temperatures up to 1045 degrees Celsius.