About Olaf Stevens
Stevens achieves his unique effects by the labour-intensive technique he invented and developed himself. Each piece is built up out of multiple layers and in several ways to create this unique outcome.
First, the molten glass is blown into a basic shape, this is then coated with another, coloured layer of glass.
After cooling, the decorative ornamentation is ground into the thin outer layer by hand, heated again to melting-point and coated with further layers of glass and worked on, according to the complexity of decoration desired. Only after the final melting, they will be blown into their final form.
In the finishing process, after cooling, the glass bodies are cut open and polished, creating a divine surface.
A comparable technique is not to be found anywhere else in the world.
The multi-coloured, three-dimensional decors and their reflections on the different layers of glass create visual effects never seen before. The heavy, solid glass and the contrast between archetypal form and capricious decoration lends the objects an appearance all their own.
The influence of ceramic design always tells in Olaf Stevens work, starting out with simple shapes that look alike they are turned on the pottery wheel. When he applies the decor by hand into cut glass, it becomes evident with what astute vision he draws out the specific potential of the material, glass.
Numerous international exhibitions and publications pay tribute to his work in the fine arts, including museum exhibitions in Madrid, Linz, Helsinki, Taipe and Baltimore.
By designing and decorating glass and porcelain for reputable companies such as Rosenthal, Hoya, Ritzenhoff and others, Olaf Stevens has convincingly demonstrated the compatibility of art and industrial design. Stevens makes full use of all techniques that also lend themselves for industrial application, causing his objects produced in a series to retain their unique character.
Consultancy in creative development
Olaf Stevens provides training sessions and consultancy in the field of conceptual and creative development. Learning how to use one’s ideas and talents to enter a new path of creative thinking can be both useful and interesting to every one who is willing to reach beyond conventional ways of thinking, working and producing. The courses and lectures are adjusted to the participants level.
The creative development training sessions are derived from the lectures Designing concept tools that are part of the Design Academy Eindhoven curiculum. However usually focusing on creative design-disciplines, it’s results are applicable in any organisation, production, company or life.
In Dutch Museum collections:
Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam
Museum “HetPrinsessenhof”, Leeuwarden
National Glassmuseum, Leerdam
Stedelijk museum Gorinchem
In international Museum collections:
Taipei Fine Arts Museum,Taipei,Taiwan
Everson Museum of art, New York, U.S.A
Glasmuseum Ebeltoft, Ebeltoft, Danmark
Design Academy Eindhoven
Olaf Stevens teaches “Concept tools”, Ceramics and Glass at the design Academy Eindhoven. The program has been founded and developed by him, is concept-orientated and encourages independent thinking and action generating. The basis of the lectures focuses on avoiding copying and tries to create unique sources for creative thinking.
The Design Academy Eindhoven is the only Higher Professional Education (BA and MBA educational level) in the Netherlands that is entirely specialised in training designers. The Design Academy attracts international students from over 20 different countries every year.
The ceramic research program
The ceramic research program finds its origin and reason of existence ( from 1999 ) being a solution and answer to random ceramic related assignments within the departments. Students being interested in Craft related fields is growing substantially.
This happens in a time where all craft related education is vanishing with a rapid pace from Art related higher education. On the other hand we see an increase of interest at medium level professional education and Culture related high-school education levels offering craft related education. The latter proving to be the main source for potential Design academy students.
Educating Design Students involves education that will enable them to have knowledge of and experience with both technical, design, material and artistic aspects of some of the most general used craft processes. At the end of their design education and standing at the beginning of their professional lives they need to be able to create a professional dialogue with craft people to execute their designs in an excepting and quality manner. This not only includes ceramics but also textiles in all its aspects, woodworking in all its variety, metal sheet, construction and casting processes. Leather crafts, Jewelry in gold and silver techniques and last but not least glass techniques varying from flat glass application to the hot-shop products.
The Ceramic research program is focussing presently on knowledge in a nutshell. Having only a maximum of 20 weeks at our demand we mainly focus on a wide variety of ceramic techniques, the basic knowledge of its chemistry and its practical applications. In order to investigate the interest and willingness of the students we like to increase a variety of possibilities also very effective to the students knowledge in the field.
The CRP results are presented with a reference book, material research results and an individual process book. All aspects of the ceramic topics need to be sufficient and accordingly presented. Having passed the CRP course it is expected that the students having both understood the knowledge, techniques and materials are able to make a professional dialogue with a ceramic professional.