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Ode to the Dutch tulip II: Wheel of Ixion

Ixion’s wheel, at first spinning across the heavens, finally transferred to Tartarus as part of the underworld in Greek mythology. Tartarus is the place where souls were judged after death and where the wicked received divine punishment. Ixion deceived Zeus and thereby was bound to burn on the turning wheel forever.

My vase represents the wheel of Ixion, in which the tulips serve as spokes. The tulips contribute to the torture, but are chained to the wheel like Ixion just the same.

The tulip is a strong Dutch symbol, which in springtime transforms our typical flat landscape into a colourful tapestry. In the 17th century (Dutch Golden Age) tulips were so popular that it was the cause of the first economic crisis due to the ‘Tulip mania’. Via the Aalsmeer auctions (the largest in the world) most of these tulips end up in gardens and vases all over the world.

Material: clay Creaton 245 white
Method: ring technique
Glaze: Sinter engobe black 1140
White accent: Tin white
Transfer inside vase: image of Ixion
Size: height 28 cm, width 30 cm

Photos Louis Meischer

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