"The joy of creativity and the endless abundance of it is something I think I am sharing through my artwork."
Hello Frode! Surrealism, bright colors, intimacy, all of that can be found in your artwork. How would you describe yourself as an artist?
That’s a tricky one. Well, the one liner is that I am a sculptor that loves color. I just love to combine form with bright colors.
That's also why I love polymer clay so much. The fact that you can actually make those bright colors and they stay bright after baking as well, that’s amazing. Maybe when you use neons, it can fade a little bit, yet it's way better than ceramic where you use glazes that all change.
Are there any other characteristics of this material that you fell in love with?
I love polymer clay because it's so direct. You don't have to make a mold for it, you can just put it in the oven which is just great. It took me a long time to make sculptures before, now if I wish, I can do it in a day, which is amazing. And it's also the coloring. You can just work directly in colors, you don't have to paint it afterward. That's very unique.
I enjoy using other materials along with it as well. I use textiles a lot, but also things like gold leaf and wood. I like just playing around and polymer clay really gives me that freedom.
There are also several sculptures where you incorporate 3D printed items as well. Do you enjoy working with new technology?
I definitely do. I love it because it gives me the opportunity to do things I can’t with other materials. Can you imagine, for example, the cage on top of legs in one of my sculptures? If you make it from polymer clay or even wood, that would be so fragile and when touching, it would break. But in 3D printing you have materials like nylon which is very strong and able to bend. I could throw the cage I made on the ground and it would just bounce. I play with the printed parts as well because they come out of the machine very ugly, so I work with clay water for example to refine it.
I also love to use laser cutting in collaboration with an outsourcing company. Lately I bought a plotter for cutting the background that’s placed behind my sculptures. I cut my backgrounds out of plastic with this machine, directly in my studio which is great. So I use machines where I can’t use my hand craft.
In your childhood, you were drawn to your father’s sculpture studio. Now you are a sculptor as well, creating human sculptures. What is the message you are sending to the world through your art?
I love the surrealistic side of art and magical stuff as well. I like to play around and create very small sculptures around 15 - 40 cm, using lots of different materials, whatever I get my hands on and feels appropriate for the sculpture.
The joy of creativity and the endless abundance of it is something I think I am sharing through my artwork. I think that's sort of the road I had to go myself. I did not feel it was abundant in the beginning, finding it was quite difficult. I slowly started to trust this creativity, and now it's almost overflowing. It's just a trust that there is this abundance of creativity.
Another message is kindness, which I really appreciate in the world and I think it's important to share. I think there is actually a lot of kindness around but that is not often shown in art, it’s generally considered not to be cool. I think it should be cool. It’s wonderful to see kindness around. It's reflected in my colors and the posture of sculptures. Yeah, so creativity and kindness, that’s what I am sending to the world.
You used to teach at the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven. What is your experience with sharing your skills and knowledge with your students?
I stopped last year to make more space for making sculptures. I am not teaching anymore but I have experience with teaching young adults and it was lovely. They were so keen and came from all over the world - literally from Korea, Russia, Australia, America, France, name it and the students were from there. As they came from far away, they were not going to play around, they were quite keen on learning and that was such a joy.
I have taught them a lot about form and how to really dive into that. You have to actually almost learn to see form to get better at it. It sounds a bit funny but learning to see deeper into form is a thing that I love to share and pass to others.
As a teacher of the Polymer Week 2023, what are the key things you are going to share with your attendees?
I’m going to teach how to make a sculpture figure around 15 cm in height. I’ll guide you through the steps of making an armature and modelling the sculpture. I also work a lot with colors and I’m happy to share all I know about it.
My class might be interesting for people who like to take polymer clay beyond the flat service and make a real sculpture. How to do that both technically and creatively.
Exciting! Do you think that there might be things that will open people's eyes when attending your class?
I hope so! I think that coming from the art world I have a different approach to the polymer clay then most people who start working with it directly. I hope to give a feeling of freedom with the material. I will definitely talk also about posture and expression.