The first time that I saw coral was when I first visited Curacao in 1976. It was everywhere, at the beaches, under water and in the crumbling walls of the buildings. I was fascinated by the beautiful textures and patterns. Back at school (Academy of Fine Arts Minerva, Groningen, NL) I made a series of small porcelain bowls and boxes with coral inspired textures and forms for my final exams (1979 – MO.B Handvaardigheid) .
After graduating I lived in Amsterdam for little more than a year. I worked as assistant of ceramist Natascha Zaludova and did a lot of glaze testings that year.
After moving to Curacao in November 1980, I set up my own studio. I started making similar work as I had done my last year at art school but soon found out that it is something different to work with porcelain under a metal roof in 35º Celsius. I changed to earthenware and stoneware and my forms became much bigger and ‘softer’. Inspired by the weathered coral stones you find on the Curacao beaches, and by the pebbles and cobbles I saw in some dry riverbeds in Costa Rica and Venezuela. With this I found my core visual language.