Gertjan van der Stelt was born in Ridderkerk (NL) in 1959 and educated in ceramics at the Academie Minerva in Groningen from 1985 until 1990, where he was a student of Geert Lap and Hilbert Boxem. The aesthetics of Geert Lap can be found in the simplicity and in the refined finish of the skin. In the striking shapes with their sharp lines however, his work is more reminiscent of Hilbert Boxem. Even though van der Stelt is a clear exponent of the Dutch tradition in ceramics with echoes to Barbara Nanning, Irene Vonk or Wouter Dam, he nevertheless occupies a uniquely recognisable place.
During his studies van der Stelt made thrown pieces, but later on he turned to clay slabs. Typical for the latter works is that they have no front or back, no top or bottom. It is up to the owner to decide their placing. There are always two movements in them, with a clearly defined turning point. A lot of attention goes to the skin, the texture. Van der Stelt covers the shapes with engobes. Before the firing, he polishes them. By firing them twice and washing them in with oxides, the brushstroke remains visible. At Puls Contemporary Ceramics van der Stelt will be showing two series of works: autonomous forms and containers. The autonomous forms evolved from earlier work, but are still offering many possibilities. The containers are relatively new shapes in his work, because he resisted for a long time to make functional work, but nevertheless, combined with the structures that he used in the past as decoration, they are a logic step in his development.