You find yourself along a quiet quay close to the bustling center of Amsterdam, and as the water glistens, the potter’s wheel turns. It’s mesmerizing, you want to keep looking.
The hands of the maker, Dutch potter Annemieke Boots, gently influence the wet clay as it turns. A shape appears. Your eyes drift away, and slide across the shelves that are filled with simple ceramics in subtle colors. It starts to dawn on you - you are in a special oasis in Amsterdam.
Pottery is a craft with a slow pace. While working the clay, there is nothing else in that moment than that act. It requires all attention, which Annemieke Boots soulfully gives. The clay turns and turns, the hands follow and direct - and in the arising shape the dedication is captured, in a most subtle way. The birth of a piece of handmade ceramics.
Without being trained as a potter Annemieke has made this craft her own. It might be this untouched perspective that has allowed her to carve out a personal place within the age-old tradition of ceramics.
As the clay dries, you get a sense of this place; the ceramics-filled universe of Annemieke Boots in Amsterdam. Silent, personal observations of nature or the city inspire her. You can sense it in her handmade ceramics, yet not see them.
Her designs are simple. Cups, vases, plates, bowls – it’s classic tableware for everyday. Yet they are not mere static objects, but ceramic pieces to love and cherish.
The pieces go for their first bisque firing. The handmade ceramics have an unobtrusive quality: they radiate an inner beauty that you, as a viewer and user, have to draw out for yourself. Being led by intuition she builds up a characteristic collection of ceramics that are designed to be used, touched and enjoyed.
The collection of handmade ceramics is characterized even more as the pieces get glazed. Annemieke composes her own ceramic glazes, also in her studio in Amsterdam. She has a series of glazes that she applies, in a range of tones and colors.
They all carry dreamy names that evoke something within you: walnut, pebbles white, basalt grey, golden dusk. Going from brown tones to pale nudes to warm greys – what we see is a subtle palette, a humble extraction of the world that surrounds us.
After glazing the pieces go for their second firing. Nothing is done quickly here - in this silent studio in Amsterdam. Every step is taken with diligent dedication. This small business that Annemieke built shows the power of learning something new, of ambition. But also the power of intuition and patience.
The result is a range of handmade ceramics that honors simplicity. Every piece is sturdy yet fragile - a marriage of the elements earth, wind and fire with the intuition of Annemieke Boots. Created with heart, head and hands: true pieces of crafted ceramic art.
We feel honored to share this peek into Annemieke’s world and work. To work with local makers, that craft beauty with intention - it’s what we love most. We hope you love it too!
Photography by Annemieke Boots, Jet Sennema & Sisilia Tiseli