Atelier Tempel

Artist Hilde Tempelman has a unique, cheerful and lightly naive style that makes her painted pottery and bags popular the world over.

How did you get so many international customers?
“I don’t advertise, but I do try to be as visible as possible on the Internet. The window of my studio in the Pijp in Amsterdam helps a lot, as it’s an area that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The coverage on the New York Times website also helped. Interiors’ stylists know about my shop too, including the popular blogger Pia Jane Bijkerk who devoted a few pages to my shop in her book Amsterdam: Made by Hand.”

Can you tell us some more about the products that you make?
“I have nothing to do with stuff that is mass produced, and durability is important to me. Nowadays, I’m focusing mainly on pottery. I make ceramics that can be used, such as bowls, cups, serving bowls, vases and decorative wall plates. I think that working with clay is the ultimate way of making something with your hands; you actually create an object from a clump of mud. The magic of baking and playing with the infinite possibilities of colors are a bit addictive.”

How does your creative process work?
“The material is my starting point. If I find a piece of cloth, I can almost immediately picture the bag that I’m going to make with it – like a sculptor who can already see the image in a piece of stone. My little studio is like a cabinet of curiosities, with drawers, cupboards and boxes full of materials. There is hardly any empty space to be found. I feel good being in the midst of all those things, and it helps the ideas to continue to flow.”