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studio maarten kolk & guus kusters

Maarten Kolk (1980) en Guus Kusters (1979) both graduated with honor at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2006 and work together since 2009. They develop autonomous projects and work as exhibition designers and curators. The poetry they find in nature, history, color and landscape are the foundation of their work. They try to translate this into objects, material applications, exhibitions and innovative production methods. Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters exhibited their work among others at Sotheby’s London, Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen, Textielmuseum Tilburg, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam and Design Museum Holon and is acquired by several museums and private collectors.

withering tableware

Thomas Eyck commissioned Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters to develop a collection in porcelain. They designed a series of tableware entitled “Withering Tableware”. This eight-piece hand painted floral dining set is produced by the renown Royal Tichelaar Makkum (est. 1572). Traditionally, paintwork on fine china is applied by hand, making it a labour intensive thus costly craft. Over the course of last year Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters developed glazing recipes which do not require craftsmen to paint the crockery directly, but rather, the mold before the product is cast. In this way several copies of one painting can be made. After each cast the glaze further washes away and crumbles, drawing a clear parallel with withering flowers in nature. The image of the flower is clear and sharp after the first cast, withering and fading after multiple reproductions. With this collection Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters balance nature and  production culture, emphasizing the beauty of both worlds. The service set consist of two plates and bowls, a cup, carafe, platter and a vase in 6 or 9 different decorations.

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t.e. 205silent hare

Lifelessness is a recurring theme in the work of  Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters. The lethargy in the lifeless object carries a poetic tension that fascinates them.

‘Silent Hare’ is the lifeless remains of a shot hare. Together fragments of ultra thin porcelain  form a cocoon of what used to be a hare. 
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t.e. 162herbarium waddensea, large

“We are often inspired by plants and used them as natural material in previous works. This time we were intrigued by seaweeds that we found in the Wadden Sea. They are beautiful drifting and flowing through the water. In a way we wanted to catch this moment and bring it home with us, which of course is impossible. By using polyester and special pigments we tried to capture the beauty of the weeds floating in the sea in an object.”

62 x 93 x 3 cm
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t.e. 161herbarium waddensea, medium

“We are often inspired by plants and used them as natural material in previous works. This time we were intrigued by seaweeds that we found in the Wadden Sea. They are beautiful drifting and flowing through the water. In a way we wanted to catch this moment and bring it home with us, which of course is impossible. By using polyester and special pigments we tried to capture the beauty of the weeds floating in the sea in an object.”

50 x 72 x 3 cm
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t.e. 160herbarium, large

The herbariums from Studio Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters originate from their own vegetable garden. "Firstly the vegetable garden was a study object, but increasingly we saw vegetables as a material. As such we wanted to treasure the garden we had worked in for a year, and represent it on a 1:1 scale. Furthermore we wanted to say something about it from a design point of view. By pressing and drying the plants and as such conserving them, you can – so to say – lengthen the growing process of the plant.

 The herbariums consist of many layers of fabric with plants on top. Pressed between a sheet of glass using wooden clamp a graphic image emerges, which leans against the wall. Together the herbarium pieces form a greyed and abstract translation of the vegetable garden.”
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t.e. 159herbarium, medium

The herbariums from Studio Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters originate from their own vegetable garden. "Firstly the vegetable garden was a study object, but increasingly we saw vegetables as a material. As such we wanted to treasure the garden we had worked in for a year, and represent it on a 1:1 scale. Furthermore we wanted to say something about it from a design point of view. By pressing and drying the plants and as such conserving them, you can – so to say – lengthen the growing process of the plant.

 The herbariums consist of many layers of fabric with plants on top. Pressed between a sheet of glass using wooden clamp a graphic image emerges, which leans against the wall. Together the herbarium pieces form a greyed and abstract translation of the vegetable garden.”
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t.e. 158silent fish

Silent Fish is a continuous study that started at the Waddensea. At a low tide, when the sea retrieves itself, washed ashore animals and plants appear on the muddy surface of the Waddensea coast. The fish that were once active and alive, have become static objects. “We find the limpness of the fish very poetic. It has a similar kind of gracefulness as a ballet but without making even one movement. This is what we’re trying to capture. For us it’s not a dead animal that we see, but it’s an object carrying a lot of emotion and poetry. And that’s just what makes it interesting for us as designers; capturing emotion and poetry and turning it into an object”
Patterns of a grey mullet and cod are made and reproduced in light weighted newspaper to remain nothing but shape. The fragile objects are presented in dark grey acrylic box.
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t.e. 157avifauna, large

Avifauna, the bird life, is a series of conserved bird species molded in textile.
“After having observed, analyzed and documented nature, we’ve started with Avifauna to materialize nature as we see it. In every new project we learn more about the change of land, water and the flora and fauna that go with it. Being designers we see blossoming timber, bleeding textiles, moving garlands and a limitless offer of techniques in the ways nature constantly changes and adapts. We try to materialize our observations and bring it closer to the industry we work in. In Avifauna we molded on the conserved parts of the species to materialize their characteristics in textiles.
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t.e. 156avifauna

Avifauna, the bird life, is a series of conserved bird species molded in textile.
“After having observed, analyzed and documented nature, we’ve started with Avifauna to materialize nature as we see it. In every new project we learn more about the change of land, water and the flora and fauna that go with it. Being designers we see blossoming timber, bleeding textiles, moving garlands and a limitless offer of techniques in the ways nature constantly changes and adapts. We try to materialize our observations and bring it closer to the industry we work in. In Avifauna we molded on the conserved parts of the species to materialize their characteristics in textiles.
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t.e. 155withering tableware

vase

sequence of 6 different decorations:
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platter

sequence of 6 different decorations:
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carafe

sequence of 9 different decorations:
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bowl, high

sequence of 9 different decorations:
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plate large

sequence of 6 different decorations:
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plate, small

sequence of 9 different decorations:
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t.e. 148 withering tableware

beaker sequence of 6 different decorations:

1 x painted - 6 x moulded
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