Kolk and Kusters have worked on Broken Hare for over ten years—it is the first project they ever made together and marks the start of their collaboration. As time has passed, the hare has changed form, material, meaning, and context; only now, a decade since its inception, has it found its final shape in this limited-edition porcelain wall piece.
As the designers explain, "We created the first version of the hare for Paper Zoo, an exhibition at MU in Eindhoven in 2009. It was a paper model of a sitting hare held together by small strips of tape. After some time, the adhesive started to dissolve, so the hare fell apart. When we displayed the remains on a table, the assembled bits of papers still formed the image of a hare, but now lying down instead of sitting. Oddly enough, the form appeared somehow more natural and lifelike, and the look of the hare had gained a poetic beauty. Separately, the individual parts looked like paper scraps, but together, they formed an image of a hare that had fallen into a graceful position achievable only by the real thing. We were very intrigued by this transformation. The original design was broken, but the remains of the paper hare had appeared to have acquired a soul."
Kolk and Kusters are no strangers to labor-intensive craftsmanship, but the demands of Broken Hare far exceeded what they consider to be a typical process. The object is created out of dozens of pattern parts made of porcelain paper. The parts are held together with thinner strips of porcelain glued individually by hand with clay slip. To protect their shape during the firing process, the parts are buried in ceramic powder. Afterward, the pieces are unearthed and gently cleaned with a brush, as though they were archaeological findings.
Broken Hare is handcrafted in an edition of seven. Number 2 in the edition is available immediately; the remaining pieces are available made-to-order. Each piece measures 82 x 59 x 10 cm. All photos by Studio Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters
Since joining forces in 2009, Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters have created autonomous projects—both objects and exhibitions—that celebrate the poetry they find in nature, history, color, and landscapes. Wistful and gently melancholic, their work seeks to evoke the elusive experience of observing unexpected beauty. In this way, their craft unites abstraction with acts of lyrical translation, manifesting the imaginary and emotional into the physical and external.
Kolk and Kusters both graduated cum laude from the department of Man & Leisure at Design Academy Eindhoven. Acquired by both museums and private collectors, their work has been exhibited at Sotheby’s London, Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen, MU Eindhoven, Textielmuseum Tilburg, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam, and Design Museum Holon. They regularly receive commissions from clients like PROOFFlab and Thomas Eyck.