Holkham Series III

Arjan Van Dal

Holkham Series III by Arjan Van Dal was inspired by Arjan’s residency at Holkham Hall, facilitated by The New Craftsmen. Using clay from the local - now disused - brickfield at Holkham Hall, the very clay that built Holkham in the 18th century, Arjan has developed a series of sculptures and vessels that tell the story of “land, sky and the colours in between”. The strong reference to Roman architecture struck deeply with Ajran - from the use of bricks in the building to the Marble Hall’s ceiling which echoes Rome’s great Pantheon - as well as the vivid silk wall hangings and tapestries of the state rooms which he describes as “a feast for lovers of colour”. These sculptural vignettes explore the striking contrast of a classic colour palette applied in a contemporary setting. Collectively, the individual components form a modern translation of Italian Renaissance paintings inspired by those hanging in the great halls of Holkham.

Material: Porcelain and clay
Dimensions: Pink vessel: Width: 16cm, Height: 27cm
Mauve Vessel: Width: 20cm, Height: 22cm
Red Vessel: Width: 14cm, Height: 24cm
Sky Plaque: Width: 22cm, Height: 22cm

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Normally working in porcelain and at his wheel, it was an exciting endeavour for Arjan to experiment with new techniques and respond to the local clay’s different properties. Arjan wedged colours of different intensities into the clay body before starting work with it, building layers slowly using a so-called ‘mille feuille’ technique to blend the two together into a perfect ombre. To highlight the colours, the pieces are polished at different stages of the making process to create as smooth a surface as possible.
The Maker Arjan Van Dal Ceramicist - London

Following a successful career working for the Dutch Commission to UNESCO, Arjan Van Dal began his “second career” in ceramics in 2015 having studied in his spare time under the watchful eye of Raymundus van Kessel. He was taken on as an assistant to Hitomi Hosono before being selected for the Crafts Council Hothouse Programme in 2016. Arjan has since exhibited his work across the globe, notably at the International China Craft Week in Hangzhou, and he was also commissioned to create an entire dinner range for Gazelle Mayfair.