Image: (c) Maarten Vrolijk

Is Maarten Vrolijk a painter, a potter, or a glass artist? He is all of these, and he has a unique aesthetic in each fine art and craft discipline he is working in. Yet, an organic nature is present in all of his work and all of his work is interconnected. Vrolijk is perhaps best known for glass vessels with their outgrowth of coloured glass fragments. These shards of jewel tones are meticulously laid out and then heated to a specific temperature to allow them to fuse to a nascent blown glass form. This creative process always carries the risk of breakage. But it is a risk worth taking as it results in a piece of art equally representing colour, form, delicacy, strength, transparency and ephemerality. Vrolijk describes this as a “frozen sense of chaos”. Or is it an image of a world sprinkled in the fragments of a kaleidoscope?