THE ENGLISH BOYS

Bussum – the Netherlands

A fan of Iefke de Roos her work since the first time I found her! I guess it was around 2007 😉
She was more in to fabrics and printing at that time. So impressed by her work I asked her
to make the curtains for the nursery of your first baby. They were hand dyed green with hand stamped cactus. 

 
 
We met a long time ago and you were more into fabrics, dying, stamping etc. back then. What did you decide to get into cermics?
We sure did! 
A couple years ago I was looking for something creative and relaxing to do next to my full job, which still involves fabrics.. though not so much stamping and dying unfortunatly. My friend and I found a ceramics studio where we could follow a course at night. We didn’t click with the teacher at all and she thought my work was unrefined and that I was working way too fast. Basically she was against me working on a little production and thought I should use the 10 lessons to create 1 masterpiece instead of the 10 cups I was making in 1 lesson. Not a very good match. My friend, who also makes jewellery , was making about 30 ‘ringcones’ per lesson – which nearly gave the teacher a heart attack. So in the end we went on Marktplaats, bought a kiln and I just taught myself the rest at home. 
 
 
 When/how did you find out about your talent?
I suppose during these lessons and the months that followed. Once I started making things it didn’t take long for friends to beg me for some. I was posting things on my instagram and always got great reactions. Only recently after moving out of Amsterdam and having more space, both physically and in my mind, I decided to pick it up a little and really start selling my work. 
 
 
 
What did you do to get where you are now? 
On a night on the sofa I decided to start an Instagram dedicated to my ceramics. I knew the name should be ‘The English Boys’.. after the three English Boys in my life (my husband and our 2 boys) and that I wanted to mix my ceramics with photos English men, from Royals to Rockers. Although this is more for my own pleasure and estetic than anything else.. these photos also get far less interaction than the actual ceramics.
 
My Marktplaats kiln had become a fire hassard, but I found a studio around the corner where I could fire my work. Sorry to say: this also wasn’t the best match. The firing took forever, things were coming out wrong due to a twitchy kiln.. 
Then lockdown happened and I decided to treat myself to my very own new kiln. There’s always a silver lining.
 
 
What are your plans and desires for the future?
At the moment I’m really enjoying that this is actually only my hobby. I don’t plan ahead and just do what feels good to me in the moment. So far, so good. 
What is your ‘signature’ when it comes to your work, and how would you describe it? Believe me or not.. Blake Lively accidently sent me a message on Instagram when she was trying to send my soapdish to a friend. She then wrote me a short message explaining the mistake and ended it with ‘thanks for bringing the joy’.. I think that’s my signature. As far as what it looks like. It’s pink.
 
 
What would be your dream assignment?
I have a major girlcrush on Laura Jackson. Everything about her! Her style, her accent, her kitchen, her BATHROOM.. everything! She does an amazing dinner club under the name ‘Hoste’.. I would love to make a whole tableware set for her. And join the dinner while I’m at it. Oh! And I’d like to make something for Julie O’Rouke/Rudy Jude. Her life in Maine looks so unbelievably beautiful. Wouldn’t mind spotting one of my pieces in the background there.  
 
What part of your job gives you the most enjoyment and what part do you consider a struggle/challenge (if there are any ;-)?
The most enjoyment for sure is when I open the kiln after a glaze fire. It’s like opening presents at Christmas. Things come out so different to when you put them in. Colours pop! Things shine! This can give great euphoria. But also great dissapointment. The biggest struggle however is that you have to wait so unbelievably long for the oven to fire and cool down. It’s really tough for a curious cat like myself. The Patient potter? That’s not me. 
 
What’s the best advice you have gotten and what’s the best advice you can give considering your work?
Hmm.. that’s a difficult one. Drawing a complete blank here! I feel like in this day and age the mind is so overwhelmed with all kinds of advise. There’s one thing that keeps popping up in my mind though.. ‘you do you’.. We see so much all day, from so many amazing artist. Before you know it your copying someone elses work. You see a lot of the same stuff coming by. But I think you should always stand out! You don’t need to shout. You just need to do you. 

The English Boys made the Smiley jewelry dishes for the ‘You make me so happy’ jewelry

Shop the 'You make me so happy' Collection