Anouk Kramer is best known for her rustic pottery with its subtle golden lining but also for her richly decorated tulip vases, unmistakably of Dutch provenance. ‘I find it so funny that all I need to make people happy is a lump of clay and my old shed!’ Since 1995, she is making potterie, Anouk’s work is sold in a selected group of stores in the Netherlands, including Menno Kroon in Amsterdam.
Spijkerboor, Noord-Holland. Here, in an old farmhouse at the end of the world, ceramist Anouk Kramer lives with her family: her husband, three daughters and all her animals…
There’s no such thing as climate control in here — dry weather makes a different plate than humid weather. ‘I made designs for a new shed yesterday. Something a little more spacious would be great.’ She sweeps a table clean, throws a log on the fire and asks her eldest daughter to make us some tea. Her hands and apron are covered in clay and she looks straight at me with her clear eyes. She has a sort of purity common to Scandinavian women.
My clients are also a source of inspiration when they come to me with their ideas. There’s a lot of love in my work. In every cup and plate. I hope people feel that, that they feel me’. Being in the moment, seeing beauty in the details plus a healthy dose of perspective and humour: it all seems so easy for her. ‘ a woman who wanted me to make her a collection of big tea mugs — something I don’t really like because I prefer things to be elegant. But I worked on it and found that if I made the handles really small, you still had to hold this big cup in a dainty way. Sometimes people come to me and say, “I can’t get my fingers through the handle.” Well, that’s exactly the point.’
Anouk’s work is sold in a selected group of stores in the Netherlands, including Menno Kroon in Amsterdam. But she also has more commercial line, Anouk for &K in the shops of &Klevering based on the idea that her work should be accessible for everyone.
Words by Stephanie Pander