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.

Worcester Teapot with Butterflies

Porcelain and mixed media, 2018. Courtesy the artist.

In his former work as a ceramics conservator/restorer, Bouke de Vries was often faced with issues around perfection. In this context, a single crack can render a once-valuable object practically worthless, literally not worth the cost of restoring. With the ‘explosions’ series, de Vries re-claims and celebrates the broken porcelain objects. Instead of being re-constructed, they are de-constructed and given a new status, with new qualities, which move their stories forward. The spaces between the fragments become essential, the shape now open to reveal new possibilities.

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’.