Machteld Lambeets is an experimental artist and object maker living and working in Belgium. Her work starts from an in depth material research and an experimentation with the techniques linked to those materials. While exploring ways to craft in a responsible and sustainable way, she also creates work intended to trigger the users curiosity.
What have you rebelled against in the past, and what are you rebelling against now?
In the past I rebelled against the opinion that others had of my person. Now I rebel against my own opinions and that of others about the norms and aesthetics of crafts.
Do you need to be a rebel to enjoy your work?
You do and you don’t. You don’t need to go against the norm to like my work but you do need to let yourself free to enjoy, also to enjoy something you might not understand yet.
Do you use your own work?
I don’t use it as often as I would like to. My pieces live in every corner of my house but I haven’t had the chance yet to use my plates. Last summer I tried out a few of them though.
Do you think dishware can still be improved? If yes, in what way?
There is space for improvement or for different directions with everything in life. In that sense I do hesitate to use the verb ‘improve’ because the plates that we use right now serve their purpose well. But they serve one way of thinking about food and dining, if we want to explore other ways of dealing with food and our way of eating than we need to create other plates. Other directions and questions I can think of are: How does dishware have an effect on how we display our food on them and how does the dishware influence our posture at the table or our movements? But I can cite many more questions that could inspire me a lot while making dishware.
What was the inspiration for your Steinbeisser series?
I got inspired by the challenge of changing the way we talk and handle food at the dining table. On my pieces, the food has to be stacked in a different way than you would normally. On the other hand, dinners are typically meals that can be quite formal. I aimed to create pieces that could bring some fun, wonder or confusion to the table.
Describe your work in 3 words!
Playful. Bold. Shy.
What kind of materials do you use and where do you get them from?
I use bioresin, slate, wood and other, mostly natural materials. I buy the resin from a French company. I try to recycle most of the materials that I use. I like to find materials that are almost becoming waste, but that I can save or turn them into new exiting pieces. The wood shavings come from a furniture company, the wooden pieces are from an arborist and the slate pieces belonged to various people that had no use for them anymore.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am playing around in my atelier with different experiments. I am working on a series of vases for example in which I use fragmentation as a mean of decoration.
What excites you about tomorrow?
The knowledge that there is always the possibility to discover new things.
What has been your favourite dinner experience?
The grillig picnics with friends while we watched the sunset being seated on rocks on the side of a beautiful lake. These dinners had a lots of food and we had this basic urge to eat it all up. There was a closeness between us not only because we were friends but also because of the way we were eating our food, just with our hands or the few utensils we had with us.
What further ambitions do you have?
I would like to continue exploring my vision on crafts through the projects I make. My ambition is to be able to show my work more in different kinds of contexts. Next to my ambition to create more work of my own I am also developing collaborations with friends which I would love to realise soon.
What are you 3 favourite pieces on Jouw…?
The Playful Spoon by Laia Ribas Valls because it triggers you while your mind recognises something known in the abstract shape. The Slate Plates by Matthias Dyer, what is there not to love about these plates? The Totora Plates by Eva Burton because of the simplicity and yet playfulness of the pieces.