⟨ Craft ⟩

To See a World in a Grain of Sand

Atelier NL

Words / Ron Lam
Translation / Iris Heung

到了東京一趟,走在清澄白河一帶的路上,看來兩邊的樹木筆直而高聳入雲,不禁奇怪,何以我居住的愛知縣,樹木都不及東京的堅壯。後來經同行的庭園師朋友一說,才知道愛知縣的泥土為黏土,樹木的根難以與泥土對抗,根埋得不夠深,自然無法長得太高,不過,也正因為滿地黏土,才知愛知縣成為了陶瓷的產地。泥土尋常而不起眼,卻影響著一個地區的風土、產業、城市風景。

來自荷蘭的Atelier NL,是一個以展現地球豐富資源,以及原始物料價值為目標的二人女子設計團隊。她們的創作主要是沙、泥土及黏土等作為主要物料,而這些物料,並非來自哪個材料供應商,而是取自荷蘭不同的地域。成品多變的色彩與光澤,正正透露了原材料擁有著截然不同的成份。例如Clay Service的首個版本Clay Service#1,黏土取自荷蘭東南部的Limburg,來到Clay Service#,採用的則是來自北部的Friesland地區,前者在燒成後是柔和的黃,而後者則是貼近棕色的芥末黃。

I took a stroll around the Kiyosumi-Shirakawa area when I was in Tokyo. Looking at the tall and straight trees, I began to wonder why the trees in Aichi Prefecture, the area where I live, were not as strong as the ones in Tokyo. My botanist friend then told me trees could not grow very tall in Aichi because of the soil. The soil in Aichi Prefecture is mainly clay soil, which is very difficult for tree roots to break into. When roots fail to go deep into the soil, trees are naturally not as tall. However, the clay soil has, on the other hand, made Aichi Prefecture one of the main regions of pottery production. Although soil is often overlooked by people, it is a key element that determines the culture, industry, and scenery of the area.

Atelier NL is a female duo from the Netherlands that endeavors to demonstrate the richness of the earth and the value of the local raw materials. Their products are made from sand, soil, and clay that are collected from different regions in the Netherlands. Seeing the colorful and shiny products, it is easy to imagine how the raw materials consist of a great variety of elements. Clay Service, for instance, is one of their projects that takes clay from all around the Netherlands to fire into pottery in different colors. Clay Service #1 that uses clay from the northeastern Dutch province Limburg is mild yellow in color, while Clay Service #2 that is made from clay from Friesland, which is in the northern part of the country, has a slightly brownish mustard yellow color.

概念類似的,還有玻璃作品Zand Glass系列,Zand Glass系列至今已推出了五個版本,每個版本的色澤都不同,墨綠的、青色的、灰綠的……Atelier NL將來自不同地區的沙提煉成玻璃原材料,一沙一世界,Atelier NL的作品,將人類的日常生活與自然風土拉近了。為了擴闊此系列的多樣性,也為了鼓勵人們仔細觀察自己所在的土地,Atelier NL還發起了To See a World in a Grain of Sand計劃,歡迎居於世界各地的大家,將當地的沙子寄給她們,在經過篩選後,她們會將大家腳下的廣濶大地,化為手心裡的美麗玻璃製品。詳情請參考活動網站

Similarly, there is the Zand Glass series that has already launched its fifth edition. Each edition features a different shade of green including dark green, light green, and greyish green. Atelier NL uses the sand they collected from the country and melts it into the raw material for making glass. There is a world within each grain of sand. The projects initiated by Atelier NL has connected the everyday life of people to the natural environment. Atelier NL spearheaded the “To See a World in a Grain of Sand” campaign in the aim of creating a greater variety of products and encouraging people to appreciate our own land more. They invite everyone from around the world to submit a sample of their local sand. Towards the end of the project, they would melt the selected sand into glass. Afterward, the soil from every corner of the world can become beautiful glass products that you can hold in your hands.

For more information, please visit https://www.aworldofsand.com/