images ©Maarten De Ceulaer
The Balloon Bowls are created by casting strong synthetic plaster into a balloon, after which a second balloon is inserted, and inflated. These two balloons act as flexible moulds, ensuring a unique shape for each and every bowl. Once the plaster is set, the balloons are removed, and a bowl appears. The colorants, which are added to the water prior to mixing it with the plaster powder, emerge differently each time again, creating uncontrolled and often spectacular color patterns. The bowls are finished with a special coating (matte or glossy) which reinforces the plaster, makes it waterproof and usable for many purposes, it is also dry food approved.
The process is an experimental review of a traditional ceramic practice. Instead of using porcelain or clay, plaster is used as the end material, not just as an inferior material to make moulds with. The project is all about serendipity; the parameters that influence the process are known, but still the result is always a guess, and never turns out exactly the way you expect it.