A few weeks ago, our team had the opportunity to visit the studio and home of ceramicist Pascalle Kouwenhoven of Villaire.
Out of a love for shapes she started stone carving in 2018 before she ventured into clay ceramics, just before the start of the pandemic. Her move towards this medium was initially a practical choice as continuing with stone meant a separate studio due to all the residue from carving. A practical step that not only led her to explore beyond sculpture, but a new process for her craft was realized through this decision. Instead of carving away at stone, she found her creative gusto in building up and adding onto clay as she took her first clay ceramics course in The Hague, early 2019. Though the approach for actualizing the shape she had in mind was vastly different for stone versus clay, she has found working with clay a better fit for her vessels and various works.
Pascalle is wearing our Chocolate Tencel Shirt + Pants and the leather mules from JANYAN (available in-store)
“With stone you’re always missing a spot. I have an idea, but when the stone is taken off, it’s off. But with this [clay], you’re building up. You can have an idea/concept and you can work through that by working up.”
Pascalle’s process begins in her sketchbook--pages filled with eclectic shapes to be narrowed down before she commits her upcoming days and weeks to a piece. Once an idea is solidified, her mornings are spent forming clay in her light-filled kitchen with classical piano melodies in the background. Villaire, the name behind her artistic practice, was whimsically chosen by her as she felt the word would stand on its own and encompass all her ceramic endeavors.
The current collection of Villaire includes larger sculptures as well as functional homegoods such as plates and cups, which embody a different side of Pascalle’s personal expression. Described by her as “yin and yang--out loud and yet needing quiet,” she resonates with a sense of minimalist perfection in the larger sculptures and a playful boldness in her tableware. The range of colourful plates and cups came out of a desire to try out different glazing techniques, then turned into a way to exhibit the sort of energy that is counterbalanced by her sculptural work. Also, with a deep love for food and gathering around the table, the new pieces seemed naturally fitting for her diverse artistic expression.
We are excited to share that Pascalle’s cups will be available for purchase in the store, starting Sunday, December 5th. Each cup formed and glazed has its own distinct features, truly making every piece a one-of-a-kind. We hope you can join us and experience them in person.