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When did you become interested in sculpture? Where did your talent come from? 

I am from an artist's family . Apparently art is in our genes. My grandfather, my father, my brother and my sister are either artist painters or bibliophile bookbinders. But my passion is sculpture. 

Can you tell us some more about your art training? Did you start at an early age? 

As a 14 year old I already made nude studies in clay. But a child does not want to follow in their parents' footsteps. I wanted to revolt, see the world and it was not until my education in New York that I realised that also for me art was the only option.

How has your year-long foreign professional experience influenced your actual work? 

New York is a dazzling city. Even walking the streets is exciting. The models and my fellow students at the NY Sculpture Centre were a colourful group of people. The fact that I was far away from home and on my own gave me the strength to take another course. 

Do you have a role model, an artist who inspires you in one or another way? 

My role models are: Giacometti, August Rodin and particularly Camille Claude.

 I devoured her biography and was captivated by her obsession for sculpture. When

I was 16, I met Andy Warhol in New York. He was doing a photo shoot with a lady friend of mine. That encounter has left a deep impression on me. His quote:

" Don't think about making art, just get it done", is my favourite. "Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. "

This philosophy is taking away all inhibitions and it gives a feeling of relief. 

How would you characterize your work? 

I do not think I need to tell a story for each of my sculptures. I prefer to leave the spectator free to discover his personal interpretation. He/she will certainly recognize   a situation or a state of mind. I am paying tribute to mankind in all its power and vulnerability. These sculptures are a sheer necessity for me. Clay modelling is an ever growing compulsive passion.

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How do you start a sculpture? Do you make a preceding preliminary study?

How do you manage to transform a lump of clay into an almost live work of art?

I have a sketchbook and I also transform my ideas into small scale-models. Then I make an armature according to the actual size, a sort of iron skeleton of the sculpture around which the clay can be modelled. I love clay, I love earthly things, I love to burrow. A casting is made from the finished clay sculpture. In that casting a wax model is composed. Then the lost wax technique model is poured in bronze, chased and given a patina. A bronze sculpture is a complex creation and procedure and requires professional shills. When making a bronze sculpture it takes about a year from the initial concept to the final result. The aspect according to traditional methods of bronze casting is extremely important and each work requires a specific casting procedure. I am always amazed that this mere artisanal and time-consuming process still exists in our high-tech and hectic society.

Is there a relation to your creative urge and your state of mind?

My mind is always active. Only clay modelling gives me peace of mind. Silence is important. Working in silence increases one's capacities. When your mind is at rest, one hears and sees everything crystal-clear. 

What is most satisfying in your professional activity?


A year ago I started making scale-models. Small 3D reproductions of my sketches. And I realised that this was the answer to all my eagerness. Whether an idea is accomplished on a big scale or on a small scale is not important. The fact that it exists gives an incredible satisfaction and peace of mind. These sketches are not the final version but a manner of telling your story.

Is your life as an artist and your oeuvre actually a girl's dream come true?

I have only just started. I want to keep modelling with clay till I am ninety. I still have a long way to go.

Photos by:


Marijke Thoen

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