Annemieke Boots Ceramics
New Norm Magazine
I am a self-taught ceramic artist, a Swedish potter taught me the first principles, and then I spent hours and hours at the throwing wheel.
Being a very visual person, I am inspired by nature – the textures, the shapes – items I own or images from my favourite magazines, books, and even talks. These impressions start to take shape in my head, giving me a certain image and feel. Sometimes I put this into a sketch, but it usually takes shape when I’m behind the pottery wheel.
I feel very at home in the ‘slow movement’, conscious living, and an appreciation for details; enjoying the small things in daily life. Ceramics is in a way a slow-paced art. You can’t rush clay, it takes time and attention to shape it, dry it, fire it, glaze it, fire it some more, and it's finished.
Embracing slower living
Where are you from / call home?
I live and work in my studio in the Netherlands, Amsterdam. A great town, not too large, inspiring with many open-minded people.
What are some simple pleasures that you’ve rediscovered during the coronavirus pandemic?
Firstly, while being at home in Amsterdam, I could still go to my studio, as I work there alone. I enjoyed the slower pace and vibes in Amsterdam; less crowded, more relaxed, less stress, rush, and more silence. Orders were canceled, and that made me very worried, but then I realized that this could give me space to create new work. I went home much earlier and enjoyed being more in our light apartment. Then, just before Easter, the situation stressed me and my partner even more and more. As we have a summerhouse in Sweden, we thought about leaving Amsterdam and change our environment for a while. In the south of Sweden, in the middle of the woods, life is easier as we can go out whenever we wish and we both can work too. Having a small studio in a barn, a small kiln, a throwing wheel, and clay I can still work and meanwhile maximal inspired by nature. Also, a big dream I had all my life was to have my very own vegetable garden. So here I made a garden and a simple greenhouse. Living in the countryside for probably some months feels so good and luxurious.
How have you and your creative process changed?
This situation made me realize that you really have to live in the now, as we can't predict the future. The pandemic shows me you never know what can happen so you should do all you can to make yourself and close people around you happy, to enjoy what is and change what doesn't feel good. I also realized that I should have trust when it comes to my work, trust I can always create, trust that assignments will come; trust that the right thing comes at the right time.
What are some of the things that have changed in your country as a result of the pandemic? What is the new normal?
I think people have started taking better care of one another and are more aware of those around them. Also, creativity arose everywhere. Shops, restaurants, small businesses searched for solutions to keep on working and to keep on connecting.
Travel from home
What was your favourite destination and why?
My favorite destinations are Italy, France, and Sweden of course. The nature and serenity that I could feel in Sweden, France, and Italy, but also for the lovely people, great food and wines, the way of living and climate. Last year we cycled through Italy for two months, from the south to the north. An amazing experience, just two bicycles, clothes, a tent and cooking gear. We booked a flight for this year, to start on Sardinia, but that has been cancelled of course.
What are some of your most memorable moments during the trip?
Cycling through a beautiful area in Puglia where truckle was all around, having lunch in a tiny restaurant with dishes of veggies that came right out their garden, Climbing kilometers and kilometers in the mountains of the Abruzzo and ending in a middle-aged village, cycling through cities like Perugia, Sienna, and Florence, swimming in a blue sea after a warm day in the sun, sipping local wine in front of your tent after another long day on the bike.
What does travel give you that everyday life doesn’t?
This way of traveling, by bicycle, gives me time for reflection about me, my life, our lives. The slow way of traveling suits me perfectly as I can see all the details of flowers, trees, the daily life of people, and more. There is only the current moment, the destination where you're heading to. There is no tomorrow.
You have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours, where would you go?
Italy for sure!