Introduction - by Hein Janssen

Hein Janssen
I was born in the south of the Dutch province of Limburg. I gat my own ceramics workshop in
1977. From 1980 on I fire my works in a wood fired kiln, an Anagama.
I throw my ceramic ware, while my objects are mostly combined from thrown parts with
slabs. I also work with combinations of porcelain and glass.
Ceramics and especially wood fired ceramics fascinate me, because of the unpredictable
results of the firing and consequently the results. It is a real challenge to me to succeed in
controlling, according to my wishes, the game the fire plays with clay, slips, ashes and glazes.
The firing of an Anagama takes four days and three nights. It is exhausting to keep the top
temperature of 1300°C long enough. Luckily I am supported by assistants and fellow potters
during the firing.
My objects are made by a combination of thrown forms and slabs. During throwing I push the
form on the inside without working on it on the outside. As a result the clay's surface partly
cracks open. Immediately after throwing I finish the object and decorate it with slips. Then I
leave it to dry.
The objects are biscuit fired first and then fired in the Anagama or in a Burry-box kiln. The
long and capricious process of the natural firing in the Anagama provides unexpected results
which are typical for my ceramic work.