Welcome to the world of Françoise Jeffrey Ceramics where intuition is leading, and imperfection is embraced. With her love for simplicity, timeless design and her mother, Françoise Jeffrey creates sculptural objects that invoke moments of tranquility.
The world Françoise Jeffrey creates is free from rules, boxes, and the common opinions that distract from the essence of the moment. It is a world where you see what you see, feel what you feel, and do what you do, fully trusting your intuition. It is an uninhibited sense of freedom that the artist personally pursues in her daily life, with clay playing a significant role. She constantly strives to have the courage to follow her own intuition, inspired by her mother Betty, who was accustomed to nothing less.
Sources of life
Françoise gives her objects names like 'Modder Being Brave,' 'Modder Keep Flowing,' and 'Modder Patience.' These names, starting with 'Modder' [Dutch for mud], not only refer to two sources of life—clay as fertile soil and the association with 'mother'—but also symbolize the personal development process the designer is undergoing. A process in which she learns to take better care of herself, both mentally and spiritually, relying on her intuition.
Françoise employs the ancient clay technique called handbuilding. She builds her objects by hand from the bottom up with clay coils (coilbuilding) and then shapes them into organic curves. To maintain the purity of her works, she often omits the toxic glaze layer, allowing the texture and earthy tones of the clay to remain visible. This sustainable approach means her work only needs to be fired once.
The names of her pieces, combined with the organic forms, occasionally daring balanced compositions and the unglazed skin, make her works vulnerable but powerful. Exactly what the maker has in mind with her work.
"I like to think of my sculptures as loving reminders to prioritize self-care by always trusting your intuition. Just as my mother did. Just as I strive to do, every day."
A year after her mother's passing, Françoise Jeffrey found solace in working with clay. It became her way to escape her thoughts and cope with her grief. This led to the creation of beautiful organic sculptures that are now sold both nationally and internationally. Françoise hopes that her objects inspire people to take good care of themselves, trusting their intuition, just as her mother did. Her independent, adventurous mother Betty Heddendorp, who was ahead of her time in many ways, never stopped pursuing her dreams despite setbacks. She showed her daughter how to take the beauty of life into her own hands, right up to the very last moment.
From promise to tribute
Because her mother did not just die. She chose death herself at the age of 81 due to Alzheimer's. Intuitively, she knew how to take back control in time to stay true to who she still was deep inside.
Shortly before her passing, Françoise's mother made her promise to keep telling people about her decision. Her decision to choose euthanasia in a timely manner, the bravest decision Françoise had ever witnessed her mother make. She was keen to inspire as many people as possible to do the same: to think about death and keep talking about it, ensuring they know their wishes in the face of diseases like Alzheimer's.
Each piece the designer creates is therefore a tribute to her mother and the courage she displayed throughout her life, particularly at its end. It has given Françoise a profound understanding of self-care, where courage takes center stage. Something the creator likes to pass on to others through her objects.
"If just one person can draw even a fraction of my mother's courage from my work to face that one difficult conversation, then it surpasses everyting I can do to honer my promise to her. Because every courageous decision is preceded by a difficult conversation."
Download alle foto’s (zip)
For fifteen years, Françoise Jeffrey worked at Capgemini, a global leader in the ICT industry. She had what you would call a dream job. Yet, she increasingly looked at people with envy and admiration who, on a daily basis, allowed themselves to do what they loved most. After another ten years of entrepreneurship, it was only with clay that Françoise took the ultimate step and found herself truly doing what she loves most.
It was a year after losing her mother that Françoise started taking ceramics classes. It was her way of grieving. Clay gave her something to hold on to in order to let go. This unintentionally led to the creation of beautiful handmade objects that she intuitively builds in organic shapes using clay coils. Her work is best described as serene and timeless design.
Inspired by the Japanese wisdom of wabi-sabi and her mother, the beauty of design for Françoise is not only minimalist, organic, and pure but also bold in a sublte way. This means her objects are usually off-white, brown, or black, without any glaze, and consist of organic round shapes in balancing compositions. It is the simplicity and imperfection that can touch you on a deeper level, which is what the designer hopes to achieve.
Françoise exhibits and sells her objects worldwide through Mia Karlova Gallery (Amsterdam), her own website and various online platforms such as Gallery Philia (New York, Singapore, Geneva). For loans, her work is available at SimplyPR's showroom (Amsterdam).
Summer group exhibition June to September 2023, Mia Karlova Galerie, Amsterdam
Exhibitions and fairs
· 1000 Vases Paris Design Week, Parijs 2020
· True Art of Giving, Amsterdam 2021
· Nu Art & Design, Woerden 2021-2022
· Common Language, Mia Karlova Galerie, Amsterdam 2022
· Nock Nock Art Fair, Amsterdam 2022
· Down To Earth, Shåk Gallery, Brussel 2022
· For the Love of Art & Craft, Salon Moofers, Den Haag 2023
· BAD Bordeaux Art Fair, Bordeaux 2023