Curriculum Vitae

Herm Driessen was born in a small village along the river Maas in the south of the Netherlands. This is also the location of the ceramics industry specialised in high quality building materials which had been founded by his granddad shortly before World War II.

The company was associated with an art studio where, at the time, they produced beautiful vases and sacral sculptures.

Herm at work

 

When interest in sacral art started to wane, these were replaced by mural reliefs and free-standing statues. They were intended for government buildings such as schools, town halls and libraries. However, businesses and private people managed to find their way to the studio.

Muzikant

 

Orders were often placed by architects. Various renowned artists have been working in the studio throughout the years. Some were on a payroll, others worked free-lance or went there to complete their orders.
Of course, the enormous ovens were extremely suitable for major jobs and clay and glaze were available in abundance.

As a child Herm(an) often visited the company and consequently became familiar with clay at an early stage. Within this family of six he was the only one who had creative talent but nobody ever hit upon the idea that the art studio might become important to him one day.

Following secondary school Herm(an) enrolled on an advertising and window dressing course after which he worked as commercial designer followed by a two year job as a window dresser/decorator in the German city of Düsseldorf. This period ended when recovering from an illness he began spending some time in the studio and because blood runs thicker than water he “stayed around” for nearly 30 years.

Piet Schoenmakers and Herm at work.

In the beginning he still had to learn the trade and in doing so he focused on his master and mentor, the recently deceased artist Piet Schoenmakers. In the evening Herm(an) attended the Arts Academy in Maastricht for six years. Over the years he made numerous works of art on behalf of both national and foreign clients.

Herm at work

Meanwhile Herm(an) and his wife Anne-Miek were spending their annual holidays in France and were very impressed by the atmosphere of the French countryside and its tranquillity in particular. Suddenly they realised that “this is where we want to live”.
It took another two years before Herm(an) was ready to give up  his beloved studio. It also became instantly evident that the future would no longer involve clay.

Having settled in France he cleared an old ruin. For years people had been using it to dump scrap metal, it even contained half a deux chevaux(2CV).
All of a sudden he saw the potential of turning this scrap metal into sculptures.
A few years later he finished the art studio. Some thirty sculptures are displayed in the sculpture garden. Smaller objects are found in the studio itself.

Herm at work

The old iron objects and tools originate from old barns. These may involve parts of ploughs but also, for instance, axes, forks, barrel rings etc. He also works a lot with sheet metal and likes combining other materials such as natural stones from the region. 

He tries to add a sense of humour to his creations making sure that people like looking at them.
Initially the old iron is blanked so it can be welded. Once the sculpture is ready it will develop a new even rust layer in the open air after which a special oil is applied. This oil ensures a very nice patina.