Annemieke Boots for Water Journal.
A couple minutes walking from the very center of Amsterdam will bring you straight to one of the best hidden secrets that the city has to offer, Annemieke’s studio, in a quiet area just by a canal, where the buildings aren’t too high and allow the natural light to get in.
Back in 2012, during one of her numerous trips to the south of Sweden, where her lover and herself own a wooden summerhouse in the middle of the woods, they visited a little town where they discovered, in the harbour, a building that is home to several local artists, one of them was a potter. The ceramist was sitting at his throwing wheel, and after a quick chat he realized how interested she was in the process and offered her to teach her to throw. One week later, she was sitting behind the throwing wheel, soft clay in her hands and she felt something overwhelming, goosebumps and tears in her eyes, making her realize that this was what she had to do next. Back then, she had no idea she would ever be able to do it, to create something out of clay, something she could sell, she just wanted to create.
« This feeling of having earth, literally a part of the earth, in your hands, the magic of throwing, the magic of creating, the shapes you can make, … It makes me feel centered, being me, still and in the now. And it is slow … A part that I truely love and annoys me too, every now and then. Clay needs its own time, rushing it is impossible. Slow is the only way. »
Slow as well is the learning process : being able to center the clay is the Ost important step of throwing and is also the most difficult part, it requires many hours, days and even weeks of practice. Annemieke wanted to learn everything by herself, with a little help here and there of course, but not be under the influence and rules dictated by some, deciding for herself how the whole creation process should be.
For Annemieke, it is striking how everything is a matter of putting her soul and heart into the craft, the art of creating something from scratch, learning a process that allowed what once was just a dream to become reality.
Published in Water Journal Issue Nr. 5
Photohraphed in Amsterdam in February 2018