A look back at a special Golden Oldie from the MASTERS Gallery collection. Mo Cornelisse has been working as a full-time ceramist since 2012. With her love for craft, fascination with material contradictions and a good knowledge of form and simplicity, she creates three-dimensional pieces with a gold edge.
Online Editor: Larissa Schaule Jullens
Image: Mo Cornelisse
"These porcelain dolls remind me of the old days. They give me a warm, secure feeling. I call them Lost Toys, because we live in an era where everything goes through mobile phones and computers. Who still plays with an old-fashioned doll? I designed the dolls and gave them a new form of flowing geometric surfaces. I notice that every customer gives a different interpretation of my sculptures: that is what makes my profession so much fun. I make Lost Toys in series, each time a boy and a girl together. They are each fifty centimetres high. I finish each doll differently by applying gold leaf on specific details. Precise handiwork, what I do patiently, gold leaf by gold leaf. By the way, it is always a surprise for me how my work comes out of the mould/oven. The dolls are never identical. The bronze sculptures I have made by a bronze foundry and I finish them myself. I consciously choose to work with Bone China porcelain. This porcelain is of high quality, has a matt structure and is the whitest type. This appearance combines perfectly with the gold leaf. The refined lighting makes the gold details stand out more clearly."
"Using geometric shapes, I create a multitude of angles in my work, allowing light and shadow to prevail on and around the shapes. The exciting contrasts thus created have become my signature over time. I love to play with balance and the expectations of the viewer. The elements in Cube Tower, for instance, seem to be stacked randomly on top of each other. Thanks to various new techniques including computer design and 3D printing, I have forms at my disposal that I could not make with my hands. At the same time, as a ceramist I am the one who has to realize the final sculpture and it remains handwork. The new techniques are the new tools. Cube tower consists of porcelain balls with twenty surfaces, which become smaller and smaller towards the top. I join the spheres together as soon as they come out of the mould, because they are still wet. This often goes wrong, by the way! This is how I 'build' the tower. Next I fire the porcelain at a low temperature. After all surfaces have been sanded, the second firing takes place and I melt the porcelain together into a whole. My challenge lies in constantly entering into new processes with ceramics and certainly also with other materials. There is still so much to discover in this wonderful profession. The process from idea to final artwork can sometimes take months. In this way I combine modern techniques with my love for clay, an ancient and organic raw material."
"I live for my craft. The craft aspect of ceramics inspires me and challenges me constantly. When you work with ceramics, nothing is predictable. The material has its own will and requires concentration. You cannot work just like a painter, wildly and intuitively. If you did something like that with clay or porcelain, it would collapse under your hands. As an artist, I give my own interpretation of the craft tradition: I experiment with modern techniques and contrasting materials. For me, a sculpture is only successful when the viewer wonders how it was made. Several galleries in the Netherlands and abroad exhibit my work and I also work regularly with interior architects. Their designs provide me with challenging assignments, because I can respond to completely different living environments each time. I made this enormous Cube Wall Installation measuring five by four metres for a property developer in London. A collection of geometric elements suggests a continuous movement on the wall. In consultation with the client I came up with the final design. The client chose the deep blue hue, which coincided beautifully with the undulating character of the work."
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