Barbara Nanning describes herself as a ceramic and glass artist and is part of a generation of ceramic artists who have defined contemporary Dutch ceramics since the mid-1980s.
Thimo te Duits, art historian 20th century decorative arts, describes Nanning’s work as “Combining tradition with innovation, Eastern opulence with Dutch austereness, freedom with structure and reason with emotion. Nanning’s work is an interesting mix of unequal quantities without becoming complex; a fusion of carefully chosen and at times seemingly contradictory elements, which in the end look so self-evident that no one wonders about the unusual combination of ingredients. She unites classical artisan methods with an innovative use of materials to achieve an entirely unique language of form, one which often develops in the making process, the turning of clay on the wheel and the blowing of glass.”
In her own words, her inspiration is “nature, both organic and inorganic”. She is interested in the forces of gravity, in the balance between positive and negative elements, between inner and outer form. She captures the essence of movement and growth in her work.
Although she is trained in both ceramics and glass art, recently, she started “painting” with glass, where the drawing follows the form. Colours repose as thin layers over each other, folding into the blown curves; they appear as Coloured Shadows coming loose from each other. Her aim is to transform shape and colour into a still life. She also brings vigorously the gilding of glass into play, a totally forgotten decorative technique that literally and figuratively enriches the sensual inner surfaces of her dishes.
The Dutch designer was present at Homo Faber 2018 in Venice, the most exciting showcase of European craftsmanship. The glassmaker artist was invited to expose her work at the ‘Best of Europe’ room, where the most renowned designers and makers of Europe were concentrated.
At Homo Faber 2018 Venice, she brought a few pieces of art glass, as the bowl “Verre églomisé”. Of the three pieces exposed, two were composed in orange gold leaf, blown, hand-formed and sandblasting. Another technique used was Alexandrit Glass.
This exquisite art, used by Nanning is an innovative technique with different kinds of glass, colours and intricate shapes, which create exuberant and unique crafts. What makes this work so distinct is the dichroic glass type that has the ability to change from sapphire to lavender colour, depending on what kind of light shines on it.
Her work is recognized world-wide, with her pieces being used by French architect and designer Charles Zana and British interior designer Francis Sultana, two of the more renowned names in the interior design industry.
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