Rotterdam hot spot: Noot & zo Ceramic Design Studio

I’ve been keeping a secret for  a few months now. I discovered this great little ceramic design studio this summer, called Noot & Zo. I already wrote a blog post about her plant markers, but thought you should know about her other designs just as much, because they are breath-taking.

I was immediately taken by the bubbly owner and ceramic artist Suus Notenboom and her unique ceramic designs. Her shop, and studio are tucked away in the trendy, but up and coming north of Rotterdam where retro and vintage shops, small boutiques, and home decor stores are popping up.

Her shop is full of eye candy and beautiful, unique designs. Suus started her ceramics career in 1998. She got her education at the SBB Gouda ceramics school after which she started working at Joop Cock Ceramics who became her mentor. In 2001 she also started her own designs, and 3 years ago she opened her own shop. Suus gets her ideas from traveling, experimenting, and from requests by customers. Especially China is a source of inspiration. She has visited Jingdezhen twice. Jingdezhen is renowned for its porcelain and home to the masters of porcelain. Right now a lot of her designs have Chinese influences or are inspired by Cologne pottery.

She uses different techniques in making her art pieces e.g. a Japanese decorating technique called ‘mishima’ where you create  extremely fine, intricate design work with hard, sharp edges by incising and colouring. Simply said, it is like tattooing clay.

Another technique she uses a lot  is the reclaiming of clay and glace remnants to create a rough, robust type of design or mixing clays.

Suus also has a collection of ceramics with lace imprints. These designs are especially time consuming and a labour intensive process. First you have to form the design on the wheel or in a mold. Then they have to dry. Once they have reached the leather hard stage, Suus uses lace imprints. After this the clay has to go into bisque fire so they get hard enough to glaze. Suus then gives her designs a white under glaze and sponges away the excess, leaving the deeper parts white. The next step is glazing them with a glossy transparent glaze, after which they go back into a fire of 1260 degrees Celsius.

work in progress

Suus says her passion for ceramics derives from the notion that it is used globally and has been significant through all ages. Customers come from far and away to get her artisan pieces because they know her designs are valuable. They are handmade, of high quality, and unique. And also important, they are dishwasher save. The Noot & Zo shop is definitely worth a visit, or you can also shop online. Suus also designs upon request, which sometimes results into a whole line named after the original customer. Imagine having a ceramics line named after you…

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