Bouke de Vries - Worcester Teapot with Butterflies

Found ceramic teapot, reconstructed. Courtesy the artist and Sassoon.

Bouke de Vries - Self Portrait

Found ceramics, reconstructed. Courtesy the artist and Sassoon.

Self Portrait 1

20th century white bisque figure and mixed media, 2009. Courtesy the artist.

“The self-portrait was the very first piece I made. Originally it was a white figure of a Dutch boy in national costume, which my partner had given me. It then got broken in a house move. I hadn’t thrown the broken pieces away and, years later, I had the idea of sticking it together using my restoration techniques, but to do it as if it was frozen in the moment of shattering. To me, this piece represents the sensitive and vulnerable, aspects of one’s character we often hide – but which are expressed in this piece.”

Bouke de Vries

Born in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Bouke de Vries studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and Central St Martin’s, London. After working with John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Zandra Rhodes, he switched careers and studied ceramics conservation and restoration at West Dean College. Every day in his practice as a private conservator he was faced with issues and contradictions around perfection and worth.

Using his skills as a restorer, his artworks reclaim broken pots after their accidental trauma. He has called it ‘the beauty of destruction’.