Naturally all ideas are subject to experimentation. If something is theoretically possible I immediately want to see and make it.
A previous research on colour led to an earlier project, True Colours. This project clearly shows the relation between material and colour. I delved into the world of metals and their corresponding oxidation colours: each metal has its own oxidation colour. Nowadays you can apply any colour to any material, but I wanted to develop my own colour palette that was limited, yet that I was able to apply consistently.
Throughout the years I developed an interest in colour—especially the mixing and dissecting of colour is what fascinates me.
The palette that a painter uses speaks to my imagination: the physical mixing of colour and the creating of beautiful transitions. Other than that, the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi was a big inspiration for Palet, with his subtle still lives and archetypical shapes and vases.
You started new experiments with your fascination for colour and your gathered inspirations. How did it go from there?
It started by mixing natural clay. By mixing two balls of different colours you can make a new colour. This physical mixing process made things much more clear.
I found out I liked the process of transition of one colour into the other much more than the newly mixed colour itself, so that became the focus of the project. I decided to use a roller that repeatedly rolls two colours on top of each other, resulting in a fluent transition of colour. This experiment resulted in a series of handmade vases from natural clay. Sadly the vases deformed in the oven and it was a pity there aren't that many different colours of natural clay.
Polymer clay on the other hand, comes in a wide range of beautiful, clear colours. I continued my research with that type of clay. I made slabs of clay using the same rolling technique, where the colours mixed fluently yet not seamlessly. I used a lathe to make the slabs into cylinders, making it into a vase. The vases are handmade so have shape irregularities, and because of the colour transitions the vase is different from every angle.
Can you tell us something about the process of developing a new project?
I never have a fixed final product in my mind when I start a project. The design takes shape along the way, once the material starts showing its characteristics. The final product is a logical result of the research. It's never the other way around. I let the process take me by the hand and that usually brings me to a surprising result, also for myself. In the case of Palet the surprise was in the beauty of the colour transitions. Because the material itself is being mixed, the transitioning colours aren't just an optical effect, but it's the solid slab that literally carries the colours in it.
Was a vase the first thing you thought about? And do you envision other Palet products or objects? You could for instance work with circles, reminiscing of Philipp Otto Runge's Farbenkugel (color sphere).
The result as it is now is not definitive: Many things in this project still fascinate me and I'd like to delve deeper into it. It's an unpretentious project that originated in my fascination for colour, and there's a lot more to discover there. This will most probably lead to new products and images, but what they will be, I wouldn't be able to tell you just yet.
In the final stage of the process the vases would be spun on a lathe in order to create a sleek finishing.
Regrettably the vases broke during the spinning. The objects on display are prototypes and the beginning of a to be developed research towards a final shape. Despite the setback, these prototypes give a good insight into the colour mixing. The prototypes and the project will still be developed into a final product.