Sonja Landweer (1933-2019)

Sonja Landweer was born in 1933 in Amsterdam (NL). She studied briefly at what was then known as the “Instituut voor Kunstnijverheid”, nowadays famous as the Rietveld academy, in 1952. In 1953/1954 she worked at the Zaalberg factory in Zoeterwoude, after which she started her first workshop, along the river Amstel.

Landweer made some foreign travels to France, Spain, England and Denmark. In 1956 she assisted Bert Nienhuis in his workshop and shared a studio with Marianna Franken for a short while. In 1958 she had her first solo exhibition at gallery Liernur. Many more would follow, like Het Kapelhuis, Kunstzaal Heuff, Int Constigh Werck and Ina Broerse.
She was part of a group of ceramists that shaped the postwar ceramic field in the Netherlands. In 1962 she participated as one of the 6 “Amsterdamse pottenbakkers” in the reknowned exhibition in Boijmans Van Beuningen, alongside Jan de Rooden, Johnny Rolf, Hans de Jong, Johan van Loon and Jan van der Vaart.

Landweer’s ceramic works consists of mostly traditional shapes, but with a very own signature. In the late 1950’s she developed her batik-technique on ceramics, which she had been developing for textiles since the mid 1950’s. She was very reluctant to experiment just for the sake of experimenting and believed in gradually developing new forms, without forcing it. Despite that, she made some surpising work during her stay at the Arabia factory (Finland) in 1964, which was exhibited in the 1965 exhibition “Nieuwe vormen van Ceramiek”.

In the early 1960’s she was invited by the Kilkenny Design Workshops in Ireland, where she was a guest for a few years, before finally leaving the Netherland and moving to Thomastown, Kilkenny. She continued making ceramics, but in her later years, she also became famous for the jewelry she designed. Sonja Landweer passed away December 15th, 2019.