The Product of Dreams
Is he an old school cabinetmaker? A designer of ceramics pur sang? An artist or - why not - a magician playing his magic with both hands? For more than twenty years, Antwerp-based Antoine Vandewoude has been most of the above. Dreaming of a design study at the Antwerp Academy, fate soon woke him up to real life: working as a technician for the Vlaamse Opera. In between production work, Antoine started reparing old furniture and making his own furniture. Always objects he loved: small stools, a dinner table, a cabinet… in his workshop old furniture got a second life, whereas new ideas were turned into real objects that found their way to clients all over the world (not to mention fashion designer Dries Van Noten, who often found exactly what he needed in Antoine’s workshop). Antoine has tried out all kinds of wood, in a true Shaker-style. And then, all of a sudden, he ventured into ceramics. Here was a completely different way of working. But Antoine loves it. Instead of standing up and handling the hammer and the chisel, he’s now sitting down on a low chair, taking and moulding the clay, cherishing it, turning it, and working that magic again. Antoine designs pots and vases, and vases and pots, and more of that. The result is warm, colourful and authentic, rather than perfect, although that’s exactly what Antoine is striving for. But perfection tends to come out in a far more interesting way. Sometimes brutal, sometimes clean and pure. Antoine’s starting point is always the imagination he’s had even when he was a small child. What he designs never really is premeditated. It’s a lot of work, yet always the product of amazing dreams.
Words by Veerle Windels