Louise Daneels first contact with clay was during her Erasmus year in Leipzig, while studying for her master’s degree in a whole other field—illustration. “In our illustration class, we were set a project around space,” she recalled in an interview with Its Nice That. “I wanted to recreate the inside of the international space station bathroom, because I find it fascinating how astronauts do their personal hygiene in space. I had to find a material to make ‘space hygiene tools’ with, and air-drying clay seemed the nicest and easiest material to work with.”
It sort of took off from there. While her studies at KASK School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium, certainly propelled her interest in ceramic art, Daneels actually learned the ins and outs of the trade through YouTube tutorials. But she admits that the passion for ceramics sparked much earlier than that, while watching her grandmother make porcelain dolls. “I’ve seen her making them since I was born,” she says. “I was always fascinated when I entered her workspace and saw all the porcelain heads, bodies and her huge collection of old fabrics.”
Rather than making dolls, Daneels’ ceramic sculptures take after everyday objects, turning them into coveted items that should be admired rather than tossed aside. These objects, though common, carry a special meaning to Daneels. “I made a selection of objects that play an important role in my memories and my personal life story,” she says. “By being the archaeologist of my own memories, I tried to bring the memories back to life in ceramic sculptures. The work brings up a memory-game of associations and stories.”
Take a look at some of her thought-provoking creations.