Ann Van Hoey (b.1956) is a Belgian ceramic artist. She graduated with a degree in Ceramics from the Institute for Arts and Craft in Mechelen in 2006, having previously received her Masters in Applied Economic Sciences at the University of Antwerp in 1979. In 2011, van Hoey became a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. Awarded the rank of Commander in the Order of the Crown by Belgium’s King Philippe for her achievements as a ceramic artist in 2022, Ann has had her work exhibited in countless exhibitions worldwide and has had work selected for many international notable competitions and awards. In 2018, van Hoey was a finalist of the prestigious Loewe Craft Prize. Her work is enshrined in public and private collections of international significance.
With a background in commercial engineering spanning twenty years, van Hoey’s unique ceramic practice is foregrounded by mathematical and scientific precision; each piece begins as a mathematical equation and technical impeccability is maintained throughout her process. Her tools, however, are simple - a rolling pin to form slabs of clay, moulds, a knife, and kidney scrapers to finish. Taking the geometry of Japanese zen gardens as inspiration, alongside a significant influence from the Japanese art of origami, van Hoey’s technique of carefully re-assembling cuttings of clay to form a smooth body creates finished pieces which, while celebrating well-executed design, still feel effortlessly poetic. Crafted in stoneware, earthenware and porcelain and finished in a variety of techniques including engobe slips, contrasting interiors and the application of surface texture, the surfaces allow the unique forms and their many faces to capture light and shadow with a softness that embraces crisp edges and bold silhouettes.