Is he an old school cabinetmaker? A ceramics designer pur sang?
An artist or –why not- a magician playing his magic with both hands?
For over twenty years, Antwerp-based Antoine Vandewoude has been most of the above. Dreaming of a design education at the Antwerp Academy, fate soon woke him up to real life: working as a technician for the Flemish Opera.
In between production work, Antoine started repairing old furniture and making furniture designs of his own. In his workshop he upcycles old furniture and turns new ideas into real objects that easily find their way to clients all over the world (not to mention fashion designer Dries Van Noten, who often finds exactly what he needs in Antoine’s workshop).
Antoine has experimented with all kinds of wood, in a true Shaker-style. And then, all of a sudden, he ventured into ceramics which required 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.
What Antoine designs never really is premeditated. It’s a lot of work, yet always the product of wonderful dreams.
Antoine designs pots and vases, and vases and pots, and more of that. The result is warm, colourful and authentic, far from perfect, and that’s exactly what Antoine is striving for. 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.
Text: Veerle Windels