Koen van Velzen
sculptor in stone, wood, bronze.
I was born in 1963 in Onderdijk, nowadays municipality Medemblik, as a son of a flower bulb grower with a passion for sculpting. My father taught me to sculpt in clay and wax.
I also learned from him how important the art of awe and wonder is. He showed me how a dry flower bulb, during the dull dry storage period in the barn in autumn, prepares in every detail the beautiful blooms of the next spring. It's been invaluable to me to apply this patience to my own life.
I prefer to work with stone. Stone is a recalcitrant material; polishing the carver just as hard as the other way around. Stone is not an obvious choice, not something you start doing at eighteen. I needed a lot of wandering around, from printing, theological and psychiatric training, via Eastern and Western mysticism, from agriculture, horticulture and landscaping towards restoration sculpture, to end up with stone sculpture.
A diverse background becomes a training when everything comes together in sculpting.
I started woodcarving at an early age , and learned more in Ecuador. In 1990 I started as a sculptor, doing modelling in clay and bronze casting. Later I learned the trade of stonemason and restoration sculptor and worked almost 15 years at the renowned sculpture workshop of Mooy BV in Amersfoort. A training in a beautiful profession, which got me to learn all kinds of aspects of design, styles, anatomy, materials and technical skills. After this company ceased to exist in 2010 I started doing the same job as an independent restoration sculptor. Beside that, I'm working as free sculptor.
Copyright photo: Eric van Vessem