Water, Jug and Art

By Ole Jensen, 1994. Catalogue text,
’Den keramiske Kande’, 1994.

TableSpace
By Ole Jensen, 2011

Form and Imagination
By Ole Jensen, 2012

The Hærvej Project
By Maria Desirée Holm-Jacobsen, 2010

Ole – Extraordinarily Ordinary
By Pernille Stockmarr, Design
Historian, 2006

Crafts 2003
By Ole Jensen, 2003

Things do not appear from nowhere
By Ole Jensen, 2000

New Studies
By Ole Jensen, 1996

Do we need new things?
By Ole Jensen, 1996

Water, jug and art
By Ole Jensen, 1994

Let enthusiasm reign
By Ole Jensen, 1992

SEJR, my two-and-a-half-year-old son has a yellow plastic jug. A so-called
‘play jug’. It is part of an entire service bought in Superleg for DKK 24.95.
He’s as pleased as punch with the jug and every evening, when he’s in the
bath, the jug is endlessly filled and emptied. We pretend we’re drinking milk
or squash. He keeps on pouring until the bath tub’s empty and mummy comes
to tell him it’s time to get out. The jug pours excellently, by the way.

In the kitchen there is a ‘real’ jug. I made it myself. I’m perfectly serious.
It is a simple white jug with a spout, handle and three feet. It can hold one
litre, and on the side is the word VAND (WATER) in black letters.

Throughout history, the jug as a concept has been the basis of innumerable
investigations. Considered as a utensil, the jug is no more important than
either a cup or a plate – or any other everyday domestic utensil. Rather the
opposite nowadays. But by virtue of its physical appearance and, quite literally,
its ‘graspableness’, the jug is one of the utensils that most immediately appeals
to our senses. The jug’s function – to hold, carry and lead something liquid
from one place to another – is a piece of nature collected and ordered in one
and the same object. Everyone has an opinion about a jug, because everyone
has made their own personal experiences. My grandmother always served
water in a jug – though one that was unable to pour under any circumstances.
An industrially manufactured jug, by the way. Most of what was poured landed
up outside the glass, resulting every time in an agitated remark from an adult
as to how incredible it was that anyone could produce such rubbish. My family
was not interested in design by the way, but the jug, for good or bad, has
always managed to make itself the subject of special attention.

The everyday utensils and implements with which we surround ourselves
have all been created on the basis of different assumptions and very different
motives. But the concrete final product has always been under the influence
of some form of limitation or other – in terms of craftsmanship or cost.
Limitations are, however, an essential part of all artistic challenges, and
at the present exhibition the first limitation is indicated by the theme
‘The ceramic jug’.

In actual fact, I hate limitations and analyses that come from outside. Artistic
activity is, more than anything else, the courage to make one’s own choices
and thereby tell one’s own story. And into the bargain, one that has maybe
never been told before.