Jolien Holvoet (°24/12/1988) is a ceramics designer/artist who mainly works with wheel thrown porcelain and stoneware. After her high school studies she wanted to do something creative, so she enrolled at Sint-Lucas Ghent for the interior design bachelor program. After her graduation in 2009 she followed her ultimate dream and commenced her studies as a visual art student, (also at Sint-Lucas) more specifically in the ceramics studio. During her time in the ceramics studio she learned the skill of throwing but wasn’t very good at it, and decided “not very good” wasn’t enough. So in the winter of 2010 she went to Finland to stay there for half a year, to try and master her throwing skills at the Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Keramiikka- ja lasitaide.
When she came back to Belgium it was as if something had changed, she graduated in 2012 with an installation made out of tiny, thrown, porcelain shapes which defied balance and were the result of a personal quest for beauty. Up till today beauty is still prominent in her work. She now also teaches ceramics and arts to children and adults, and is convinced every person can be swayed by the beauty of clay and the possibilities that it hides.
“On the long term I really want to make the world prettier and the people who live on it happier… Everyone has the urge to surround oneself with things of beauty. We are born with it, we can find consolation in it or just like to watch our beautiful surroundings. That’s also why I use this given as a starting point for my designs. Sometimes it’s literally about small things, and the respect for the used materials. But when taking a closer look it is possible to see the subtle beauty of our everyday surroundings. And that’s what it’s all about …
Everything is made by myself on my throwing wheel, it’s as if the shapes emerge from the porcelain. Each shape is different from the other, because I start from a concept rather than a real design. Everything happens very intuitively and from my own viewpoint and thoughts.
The throwing wheel is my starting point from which everything gradually arises. I work like this because I don’t want to become a machine that is just producing without any sentiment. The sensitivity that is omnipresent in my designs is very important. That’s why I prefer making unique pieces, rather than producing.
Each shape that I make is finished in the smallest details. It doesn’t matter if it’s small or big. Every last one of them gets the amount of attention that is needed to perfectly refine it. And all of this only to underline the beauty of it.”