— colours of the elements

At Atelier NL, the earth is an integral component to both the meaning and design of their work. Unlike the industry, which seeks homogeneous products made from pure raw materials, they embrace the very imperfections and colours that minerals in the earth produce. Much research has gone into uncovering what each soil produces and brings the craft of making to another level by placing importance on the concept of place visualized through colour. In many of the clay and sand samples Atelier NL has collected from across the Netherlands and Europe, iron oxide (Fe203) often proves to be a defining element. More iron means that both ceramic and glass will produce darker colours once fired at high temperatures — ceramic becomes a rich burnt red and glass a deep forest green.

Atelier NL takes the crafts of ceramic and glass making to a different plane by focusing on aspects like the origin, history, and place of the resources they work with. The handmade ClayService and mouth-blown ZandGlas, created after much trial and error, showcase the terrestrial colours and material structures that speak to the land from which the clay and sand have been sourced. In every edition, each piece is stamped with its corresponding location as a means of maintaining the connection to place and material origin. Fe203 presents a reconfiguration of their entire material archive — from raw materials to ceramic and glass objects — by displaying them from least to most ferriferous, unearthing a fascinating colour spectrum. 

Photography: ©Blickfänger, Peter de Ronde & Hanneke Wetzer