Putzy Ceramics is a one woman show, making ceramics with great care and passion in a home based studio in Haarlem.
My name is Putzy, the ceramicist behind Putzy Ceramics. My ceramic journey started in 2019 after an inspiring trip to South-Africa. I came across such beautiful pieces of ceramics that lit a fire within me to make my own. The pieces I liked the most where the ones that had little imperfections, or marks that show that the piece was made by hands. I’ve always been eager to learn new things so this was going to be one of them. I did a lot of research about different techniques of making ceramics, read many books, but I’ve learned most from practice and failure. Learning while making mistakes.
The method that inspired me the most, is the handbuilding technique where you use your hands to shape the clay. You get this really organic, playful shapes. And this is exactly what my work shows. Embracing the beauty in imperfection and organic shapes. The Japanese call this ‘wabi sabi’. The approach that centers the beauty of imperfection.
It inspires me so much that I’m able to make pieces of art with three natural elements: clay, water and fire. The pieces that I make are pieces that I love to use myself, hoping that you’ll love it too. That it brings a little joy to you, using it or looking at it.
The process of ceramics is an intensive, time consuming process. It all begins with shaping the product from a piece of clay. This then has to dry for about a week, depending on the thickness and the size of the piece.
When they are completely dry, the pieces are ready for their first firing. This is called the bisque fire and will be at 1020 degrees Celcius. After the first firing they are ready to sand. I will use a thin sanding paper to get rid of any rough parts that may be present to make the piece smooth and nice to hold in your hands. After sanding, they are ready to be glazed. This gives them a pretty color and a protective layer.
They are fired one more time at 1240 degrees. At this temperature, the glaze will melt and harden and the pieces will become water resistant.
And then you have it: a beautiful and functional piece of ceramics that can be used for your everyday life.
The photo shows the 5 different stages of a pinched cup:
1: a ball of clay. 2: a freshly pinched cup. the clay is still soft and needs to be smoothed out. 3: a dry cup. The clay is hard and very fragile. 4: a bisque fired cup. The cup is fired at 1020 degrees and gets a white color. It is sanded and ready to be glazed. 5: a finished cup ready to be used. It is fired at 1240 degrees, finished with a transparent glaze. The clay becomes darker again.