Meet our artisans, the holders of know-how, the community of LOA. With all artisans, we’ve created a special bond. And we’re thankful for that. Proudly we present to you their personal story behind the crafts. Because we believe the best way to let their voices have impact, is to take you with us on their journey.
Every artisan is being influenced by its surroundings, according to Jan. But it’s hard to say just how defining these influences are. He doesn't think about it, he just lets it happen. His roots lay in the horticultural world. Back in the days, there was a ‘rule’ that when you become a horticulturist and something breaks down on your tractor, greenhouse or machines, you have to fix it yourself first. And Jan believes that’s where it all started. He worked a lot with wood, but also with metals. Nowadays, he combines the two materials, to reinforce each other.
Esmé specializes in fine shin work. The material for fine shin work is obtained by splitting long white willow branches of approximately 2.50 meters into three or quarters with a special splitting wood. The long strips of willow are extremely precisely cut by hand, on a special planer to thickness and width. After this the bark residues are brushed away. Each fine shin work object is woven around its own wooden mold, such as shoes on a last. Making a fine shin work object is very labor intensive. The result is a fragile-looking wickerwork which, when touched, is still surprisingly sturdy.
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Veronica is a handweaver and she makes unique handwoven textiles from natural materials and reclaimed/recycled materials. She turns these fabrics into items for interiors such as cushions and wall art. Good art and design gives value and pleasure to life. A beautiful piece of art or handmade item accompanies you through life, through the good times and bad; in the latter it can bring comfort, and when well designed, it is a pleasure every time you use it. Knowing that an item has been made by a person, investing their time, energy, knowledge and love makes that item personal and special. According to Veronica, this is something which has been lost in our current increasingly uniform, mass-produced world.
Isaac is a contemporary alchemist who has been researching the growth of stalagmites, one of nature's greatest wonders. During his many experiments he discovered how the growth process works and how he can use it for making sculptures and objects. He calls it the collaboration between artist and nature. After studying Architecture in Belgium and Norway, Isaac wanted to get his hands dirty and added Product Design in Rotterdam. And through that, he was able to make and produce himself, from the first sketch to the prototype and ultimately the final product.
Chris is an LOA Exclusive member and has a special place in my heart. If I could, I would want you to meet him in person as I am sure his warmth and energy would touch you as much as it touched me. He is exactly what LOA stands for; passing on craftsmanship from generation to generation.
When they asked Sjang in elementary school what he wanted to be, his answer was he wanted to be an artist.That he knew from very early on, but he almost lost sight of that. Luckily, he got back on this path. Sjang graduated from art school, but actually most techniques and knowledge are self taught. By making strange choices such as following a minor in knitting he came up with ideas that are outside the box.
In the summer of 2021 my partner and I enjoyed a holiday in Lefkas (Greece). On the third day, we drove through the narrow mountain roads of this beautiful green island. A small village loomed in the distance that I didn’t notice on the map; Karia. There's nothing better than wandering around old towns without any plans, so that's exactly what we did that afternoon.
Lonneke loves working with her hands and her hunger for creativity started early on. She was always looking for something different in life, starting from her intuition. Lonneke is no stranger in the creative field, she went from interior design to painting canvases to clay. A few years ago, the interior industry no longer gave her the satisfaction and energy she was looking for. She came in touch with clay by chance and ever since she was hooked.