I initially started with ceramics under the tutelage of Soeki Irodokromo. I became very passionate about the craft, and asked my sister in law Dorothé van den Berg (Italy), to teach me the basics of raku firing, which was still rather unknown in Suriname at that time. After that I took various courses in clay turning and decoration techniques. I now make my own raku glazes, based upon Dorothé’s basic recipe, and I experiment with different decoration and firing techniques in combination with raku firing.
My ceramics are inspired mostly by the ‘Saramaka’ maroon women, the ‘Samaaka muje’, from villages further upstream of the Suriname River. The ‘Saramaka’ tribe is one of the tribes that descended from the Africans who escaped slavery (maroons) during colonial times in Suriname. The ‘Saramaka’ woman is especially striking not only because of her typical built and posture, but also because she is the backbone of her family. The women cultivate the agricultural plots, do the laundry and the dishes on the shores of the Suriname River, the housework, and take care of the children. They are strong women, who often have to take care of the family on their own.