Glazes enhance the quality of the built environment and increase people’s awareness of it

texture and glaze

Christine Jetten and the new role of architectural ceramics

Glaze design for signature buildings. Ceramics is experiencing a revival in architectural circles. After decades of abstract and conceptual building, more and more architects are going for more sensual designs, building offices, theatres, houses and museums of flesh and blood and with a distinct identity. They are rediscovering the special charms of ceramics – its sexy colours and glazes, but also its seductive skin, its mysterious shadow action and its ornamental potential are turning out to be rich and unexpected sources of inspiration.

Within this trend, Christine Jetten is an active and self-willed ambassador, who has succeeded in inspiring international architect’s firms to use ceramics in the façades and interiors of headquarters, offices, hotels, museums and apartment buildings. This has led to remarkable developments in London, Beijing, New York, Qatar, and Delft, Holland, where Jetten not only made up the glaze colours, but also designed the surface treatment – the ceramic skin. In some projects she also determined the form and dimensions of the panels. She is a propagator of glazed ceramics as an autonomous material with special qualities. Just like stone, glass or wood, glazes have their own specific plastic and visual qualities, which Jetten has mastered and exploits. As a supervisor of the production process and as an intermediary between architect and ceramics industry, Jetten is a real innovator who does more than advise about colours. She also stimulates her clients, and ceramic manufacturers world-wide to strive for new effects in the areas of form, colour schemes, skins and the reflection of light. Drawing on various disciplines, she enriches the plastic potential of architectural ceramics, some examples of which can be seen in this brochure. In the United States, her daring and boldness of approach have earned her the nickname of ‘Mrs Can Do’.

Peter van Kester


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"In the search for the magic of glaze"