What I am thinking: form making artist Maria Blaisse

Maria Blaisse is a Dutch visual artist and designer. She authored the book “The Emergence of Form”, in which she discusses her in-depth research into form in various materials and the numerous application possibilities, both autonomous and product-oriented.

Sigrid Adriaenssens: Why and how do you generate curved forms?

Maria Blaisse: discovering the curved lines .. while experimenting with incisions  in a rubber inner tube ( for a party of my children)  and while putting the forms on my head  something amazing happened. Then I realized I touched an energy field. I am still working with it.

I found the potential of the inner and outer curve of a torus. The inner curve generates energy and form, while spiraling centripetal. It was the most powerful thing to discover, the outer curve spiraling centrifugal loses form and energy. In my book the emergence of form you can see this research based on one form and one structure from here one can design any form or structure without any waste.

Variations on rubber inner tube – Copyright of Maria Blaisse

In your book “The emergence of form”, you state “form is ‘frozen’ movement”.  Please explain and illustrate that idea?

A form is always part of a movement. I found out while editing film that the stills have the most impact: the form is energized.

systematic variations in gauze structures based on one form  .png

Systematic variations in gauze structures based on one form – Copyright of Maria Blaisse

In your design approach, you emphasize beauty (wanting to ‘move’ people) but also material and energy efficiency. Why is that important to you and to society?

The most important is to be as efficient as nature, in designing. After long research I can use the form in its full capacity and skip waste out of our vocabulary.

Improvisation with Bamboo torus (copyright Maria Blaisse)

What is the importance of making?

While working with our hands, the solutions come by itself with great care and focus. Our hands are intelligent. Things happen that you cannot predict, this will never happen on a computer.


Bamboo oloid -Copyright of Maria Blaisse

What makes your collaborations with fashion designers (eg Issey Miyake) and other artisans and artists successful?

The collaborating is the most challenging and rewarding thing to do, one can complement each other. I work a lot with dance and music improvising to explore possibilities also with architecture and science.

Maria Blaisse with the boots she designed for Camper. (Image copyright Anja Hitzenberger NY)

What question do you never are asked and would like to be asked?  What would be the answer?

Why do you work?

It is just doing what gives me most joy; what really energizes and connects me. I am curious.

Maria Blaisse: I just want to add the poem written by architect Trude Hooykaas architect for my book The Emergence of Form. It is amazing how she describes the emerging process of my work. Her world famous building Kraanspoor in Amsterdam is also poetry.

Kraamspoor by Trude Hooykaas, image by edwingardner (Source: flickr)


it’s beautiful
but what is it.
art? design? what do you call an object that raises questions.
felt, bamboo, glass, rubber…
close-reading of neglected qualities
and an explosion of possibilities.

objects intended for bodily movement.
hats like the helmets of heroes
head and posture are aspects of the theatre of costume.

the image arises from the inversion,
folded outside-in.
pushed inside-out,
inspired by air and the taut curve of the rubber tyre.
the three-dimensional circle,
the theme of pi,
infinite form, emptiness in emptiness.
pushing and folding in flexible airless forms,
amazing, loving duet.
silver pliable as rubber, elastic as glass.
the felt garment is gracefulness around a moving body.
plump, soft, impermeable it inquires of the wearer.

the loose-weave fabric asks no questions,
threads itself together and lets go.

the glass is pleated like thin rubber,
charming and tender it takes its place
beside the solid
which is heavy in mass and light as the wind round one’s head.

the theme is air, is space in continuous change.
the dancer dances the wooden structure
which follows every turn with a rattling sound, flowing with it as it moves.
the unending hinged image
is form and stick and universe.

every material has its own laws.
the inversion, take advantage of it,
chances are weighed, coincidence is your partner.

the tension of tissue creates the movement.
draped round the walking body,
it dances doubly,
the movement of the body
celebrates the liberation of the naked.

folds, curves, disregarding laws.
a boot as a sculpture round the leg,
step in your boot and you’re a performance walking.

what is it?
dance of materials, of neglected qualities.
close at hand and palpable, it seduces.
mysterious and secret,
it dances the endlessly self-reproducing space of her universe.

Trude Hooykaas

Questions by Sigrid Adriaenssens.

One thought on “What I am thinking: form making artist Maria Blaisse

  1. Let’s keep boundaries open. If something catches someone’s attention it’s a miracle. I could say so many things….


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