Hanze Crafts

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Half a century of sculpture in Hattem: ‘’Concentration is of the utmost importance’’

It is half a century ago now that sculpting was begun in Hattem. Members of the Sculptors’ Guild weekly meet to "carve". ‘You must be concentrated while you work and it is exactly that which creates such relaxation’, board member Wendy de Carpentier Wolf states.

In 1972 Gerrit Beernink started working in Hattem as a stonemason. That is how Henk, his son, came into contact with visual artist Bé Thoden Van Velzen who came to their shop to buy her stone materials. "She became Henk’s teacher. And finally Henk started to teach others himself and thus became one of the inspirers for the creation of the Guild.” On account of the Guild’s anniversary a book has been published “50 years of Sculpting in Hattem", which nicely coincides with the anniversary year of the Hanseatic League. Sculptors get their say and tell about the birth of the actual Sculptors’ Guild in 2016 and about all that was organised and realised in the field of sculpting over the last 50 years." Anno 2023 some sixty members are active in the Steengoed (i.e. Rock Solid!) Atelier Beernink, on 3rd Industrieweg 1. "Cato Wit also gives modelling and ceramics courses, which is also attracting a lot of interest. It is always possible to take a trial lesson.”

We ask what is so nice about this hobby. ‘’you can always make abstract works but also figurative ones. There are people who simply begin carving and have themselves led by the stone. When working figuratively you have something in mind or you make something out of clay and then begin to carve that. You work with heavy equipment, so concentration is important. You only hit your finger or hand once and then you do watch out…” The observant viewer can spot sculptors’ works in the Hattem streets. “Note, for example, the building where the Aparthotel is now located. That used to be a butcher’s and you can still see a little piglet in the wall. These are allusions to what used to take place in a building and it is fun to decorate a city in this way." The guild’s initiatives are meant to create more awareness of art and craft among inhabitants and visitors in and around the Hanseatic city of Hattem. ‘’We want to show what you can do with stone and how beautiful that is. Attaching a guild to it keeps the craft of sculpting alive."

The guild’s members have various opportunities to show their craft and to exhibit their works. "We annually have a stand at the Dikke Tinne Festival in which we carve and we are also present at the Art Festival, in which children can also try their hand. In the Townhall an exhibition is opened at the beginning of every new year which can be visited during several months. In the garden of the Voerman Stadsmuseum Hattem five sculptures of members can be admired. Every six months they are changed. In this way we set out to reach younger people as well and that is important in our view." In honour of the anniversary the museum will organise a more extensive exhibition of the sculptors later this year.

For more information: beeldhouwersgildehattem.nl


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