Exploring the Stories of Ordinary Objects: Christien Meinderstma / by Kat Howard

Christien Meindertsma Flying every few weeks this summer, in order to keep things interesting in yet another airport, I've been indulging in some glossy therapy. On a recent trip I scooped up the latest issue of Dwell Magazine. I was thrilled to see it focused on women designers. One interview particularly stood out to me, as a designer and an artist: Christien Meindertsma.

Meinderstma, a Dutch artist, is fascinated with the stories of how things are made in a day and age when this knowledge is typically withheld from us. Central to her process is in-depth research about an object's history. Subtle yet evocative, her pieces draw the eye in to examine the details of an object, contemplating how and why they came to be.

'Wild Bone China' by Christien Meinderstma

One of Meinderstma's most compelling projects, 'Wild Bone China' is a piece in which the artist explored the morbid history behind the British invention that uses the dust of real bones from slaughterhouses to create a powder white porcelain meant for tea services and high end dining. She scavenged the Dutch countryside and used bones from roadkill to make china that was suggestive of the landscape where the bones were harvested. Meinderstma's work ranges from examinations of products made from pig parts, to the history and diminishing trade of flax craftsmen. Her art inspires me to look closer at what can be hidden in plain sight, and to delve deeper in to my own processes. For more information on Christien Meinderstma, check out her interview with Dwell Magazine.

Scavenging Bones for 'Wild Bone China'