Welcome. Kind of you to visit my website.
First let me introduce myself, in case you don't yet know me.
My name is Mariska Mielen-Gruijters and I live in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. I'm married to Sam and we have 2 children who have been independent for a long time now. We are also grandparents to Tygo.
I have had my hands in clay for over 40 years, ranging from ceramics, self-hardening clay and polymeric clay. Very relaxing to do and time stands still when I am modelling clay, surprising myself in what my hands are creating.
As a young girl I was already creatively occupied by paper, paints and fabric. Fascinated by what my hands created. That would be a dream job, so going to art academy was my biggest wish.
Unfortunately that wish never came true, but by taking courses with well-known artists I improved one step at a time and became addicted to sculpting. After a lot of trying and beginning again I found my passion in creating human figures out of ceramic clay.
I keep sculpting and modelling until human emotions are visible in their faces and evident in their posture. That is why they can stir emotions or make you smile. They seem to be independent beings with a soul and a story. After modelling, I enhance the sculptures using engobes, oxides and glazes.
Due to my love of the aesthetic human form, I try to show as much of the body as possible without being offensive. After all, we are all born equally and should be appreciated as humans, in all shapes and sizes.
Inspiration for my sculptures can come from all kinds of situations; people in the street, a television programme, from a conversation or pictures in a magazine. The ideas that remain are sometimes drawn-up on paper, so I can think about any pressure points ahead of time or even adapt the concept. However it is also possible that a design wants to go in a direction that I didn't imagine ahead of time, in which case I just let it happen.
Many sculptures have been born this way and many have found new owners, spread all over the globe. This enables me to keep developing myself and invest in new materials and courses.
I am extremely proud to have been honoured with several first place prizes at competitions and nominations that are frequently held in The Netherlands and other countries.
Thank you for reading and looking at my website.
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Have fun looking!