HANDLE WITH CARE

Mother Dao, ceramics - silver - brass, 25 x 5 x 2.5 cm, 1995

Desert Necklace, ceramics - silver - cork, 52 x 3.5 x 3.5 cm, 1995

Spanish Collar, ceramics - silver, 63 x 7 x 2 cm, 1995

Satanic Cuffs, ceramics - silver - silk, each 13.5 x 10 x 10 cm, 1996

Drops Necklace, ceramics - silver - cork, 104 x 3 x 2 cm, 1995

String of Pearls from Genetically Manipulated Oysters IV, ceramics - silver - silk, 132 x 1.5 x 1.5 cm, 1996

Acorn Necklace, ceramics - silver, 62 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm, 1996

Bracelets of Pearls from Genetically Manipulated Oysters, ceramics - silver - silk, 19 x 2.5 x 1.5 cm, 1996

Show Your Teeth, ceramics - silver - silk, 44 x 20 x 5 cm, 1996

Ricebowl Brooches, ceramics - metal, each Ø 2 cm height 2 cm, 1995

Thimble Necklace, ceramics - gold leaf - silver, 53 x 2 x 2 cm, 1995

Rings, ceramics - silver - gold, left ring 4 x 2.5 x 1 cm, 1996

Vases for Seedlings, ceramics - silver, 62 x 2 x 1 cm, 1995

Installation Vases for Seedlings, ceramics - silver - plants, necklace 62 x 2 x 1 cm, 1995

Ricebowl Necklace, ceramics - silver - gold leaf, 67 x 2 x 1.5 cm, 1995

Ricebowl Necklace, ceramics - silver, 62 x 2 x 1.5 cm, 1995

Cup Ring, ceramics - water, Ø 3.5 cm height 2 cm, 1995

Friendship Rings + Jug, ceramics - silver - cork, jug 5 x 3 x 3 cm, 1995

Necklace, ceramics - silver, each head 2.5 x 2 x 2 cm, 1995

Adios Manolo (left), 47 x 2.5 x 2 cm, No Spine (right), 47 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm, ceramics - silver - silk, 1995

String of Pearls from Genetically Manipulated Oysters III, ceramics - silver - silk, 56 x 2.5 x 1 cm, 1996

photos by Henni van Beek

‘Handle with Care’ refers to the care and attention Peter Hoogeboom’s jewellery requires, both the idea and the material: ceramic.

Since his exhibition at Ra in 1994, featuring themes such as healing, mourning and fertility, Peter has concentrated on ceramic as material. A beginner’s stipend and a work grant enabled him to follow various courses, buy materials, acquire expertise, learn skills and work intensively for an extensive period.

It was a while exploring this new material that he was struck by the Buddhist proverb: ‘If you have a rice bowl, it is already broken’. The moral is that you have to free yourself from the material world -  after all, it is only transient. The image of a rice bowl that in the end always breaks symbolized precisely what he wanted to show in the material: service, vulnerability, transience, asceticism. It stretches the idea of durability and the personal attachment to items of jewellery to new limits.

At first, Peter kept close to the classical shapes of ceramic utensils -bowls and bottles- which he turned into necklaces and rings. The tiny format reduced their utilitarian value to a symbolic gesture: you can toast a friendship with one and break one even, or a secret drinker might use one for a quick swig. The large necklaces and collars made of several tiny bottles strung on a silver chain are reminiscent of ceremonial African jewellery and the emergency rations for survival in the desert. The locks are made of silver camels, elephants or tortoises. Sometimes ‘modern’ motifs find their way into the design, like the status symbol of the western chief: a TV or a car…

Peter’s most latest work is inspired by an article on genetic manipulation. Genetically manipulated oysters produce strange pearls which can be used to make demonic pearl necklaces.        Paul Derrez, September 1996

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