Jan Heerkens

I started with clay when I was working with children at a curative educational institute. Artistic work in clay only began in 2006 with Yellow Art. I have exhibited Yellow Art in Diest and Geel.

The forms and shapes I have produced in clay are set movements that can be found throughout nature. I try to find tensions in the lines, concave and convex, exertions of force from nature. Like the movement of the wind does with stone, water and plants, forces from outside and from within.

The powerful shapes in a shell, or the force that can be found in all opening buds, leaves, stems and flowers.

The tension that is created in the buds growing towards each other in plants when they are just not touching each other. That just not touching each other produces a tension that can also be very strong in humans and animals. If they do touch each other, a new form of chaos can arise through the movement, which can likewise produce a new shape. Or the force applied through the light which is different for each species of plant.

These tensions can also be found in animals and humans; even mathematical shapes such as straight lines and circles can be illustrated in solid form to produce a harmonious whole.

The infinite form can be cut through infinitely in one’s mind, though it will always remain a line. In my work, I attempt to find forms that just cannot be found in nature but which generate tension. This is often successful, and sometimes fails totally. 

Before I start, I have a shape in my mind from which something can emerge or not, clay being very heavy and unstable when wet. I start by building, supporting and propping up a form and then let it dry out a little. When it is strong enough, I rework the form with a knife and, if it is too dry, with a rasp.

Working in clay requires mental strength, patience and concentration; the strength that is needed to produce the work provides strength in one’s life.



  • Kunsthuis Yellow Art - OPZ Geel Pas 204 2440 Geel