I’m Michelle van Andel, the maker of Triskel Pottery.
I have always loved pottery. I spent many holidays visiting ceramic studios and meeting the potters. It's so fascinating to see how they are able to make something beautiful out of a piece of shapeless clay.
I have no idea why it took me so long to come up with the idea to buy a potter’s wheel and to start throwing, but it was the best decision ever. All the clay, the wheel, and the glazes take a lot of space, so we converted the post-war temporary home in our backyard, into a cozy studio.
I love to throw and glaze, and opening the kiln is always an exciting moment. I love it when a mug or bowl has turned out nicely. A cup of coffee from your own mug just tastes better than coffee from a factory cup. Homemade bowls on the table make me happy. But now I have reached the point where even I think there is too much of my pottery in the house, and because I really want to keep throwing and glazing, I sell my ceramics.
My designs are simple, robust but elegant, at least, that's what I try them to be. My use of colors and materials is inspired by the seaside.
For me working with clay is working with the elements. The clay and the materials that form the glazes, the water you use, and the intens heat you need to fire your work.
I love the simplicity of the process of throwing. It takes time to learn, but all it takes is a spinning wheel and your hands to make beautiful shapes. It’s a craft that exists thousands of years. It gives my a feel of connection.
I want the elements and simplicity to show in my work. I want to keep the process as basic as possible, and also my forms as simple, but beautiful as possible. I use natural colors, and I like it when you see that the kiln made the glazes move, it’s a kind of souvenir from the extreme heat it went through. I like to keep the clay partly unglazed, so the user has a direct contact with the clay. I love the feeling of the rough clay warmed by tea or coffee.
I hope my cups invite you to take them with both hands and enjoy the moment.
I try to use clay bodies that have some texture, are beautiful to see, and can be fired to at least 1220ºC. They need to fully vitrify, so they are practical to use.
I think my subconscious rebels against uniformity. I can't make exactly the same shapes. My pots are never identical twins, they are more like brothers and sisters.
On Instagram I show my new work and tell you more about the materials I used.
I would love to hear from you, here or there!
The Triskel is the symbol of the elements earth, water and fire.
It also represents movement, motion and personal growth.
There are many other variations as to what the three extensions in the trial spiral symbol mean. But these are the reasons why I chose this symbol as my logo.