The Frozen Fountain
Furniture. Fabrics. Home accessories. Arts.
The Frozen Fountain is a shop selling contemporary furniture and home accessories. The Frozen Fountain maintains close contacts with designers from the various art academies in the Netherlands and abroad, thus ensuring a collection that is dynamic and varied.
This collection is complemented by a selection of international furniture labels, thus creating an interesting interplay of classics and works by present-day designers.
The Frozen Fountain has also organized many exhibitions, with the aim of showing a clear symbiosis between idea and final product.
Our emphasis has increasingly come to focus on installations and commissioned artworks. In addition to the presentation of our permanent furniture collection, installations can be organized quickly and therefore more readily reflect the here-and-now. In contrast, commissioning art offers the possibility of an in-depth response to a particular subject.
The start: 16 May 1985.
The Frozen Fountain came into being on Utrechtsestraat in Amsterdam on 16 May 1985. The basic notion of the founder at that time, Dick Dankers, was to bring designers and craftsmanship together and thus to present an original collection.
An unusual specialization developed in the field of lacquer work, whereby at least 12 coats are applied, to achieve a truly smooth surface. Old but unique furniture was restored and given colour by means of this special lacquer technique.
Relocation and new start: 18 September 1992.
A new firm was formed in 1992. At this time, Cok de Rooy entered into partnership with Dick Dankers, and together they started a new Frozen Fountain, in a spacious (625 mtr2) setting at Prinsengracht 629.
The craftsmanship aspect then faded into the background and the accent came to lie completely on design. The contacts between Cok de Rooy and various art academies gained in significance, coupled with the fact that – unlike in other countries – the Netherlands has a strong tradition of self-producing designers.
This approach creates a veritable hotbed of talent. Our range is drawn from all sides and unexpected sources. The standard collection of furniture is combined with unique objects or limited editions of serial products from designers such as Piet Hein Eek, Jurgen Bey, Marcel Wanders, Ineke Hans, Hella Jongerius and Studio Job. Walls are hung with photography from young talent or established names such as Teun Hocks, Jannes Linders, Anton Corbijn and Inez van Lamsweerde, while carpet designs from Claudy Jongstra or ceramics by Vika Mitrichenka can be found in other places.
Our permanent furniture collection consists of the ‘great’ labels, such as Zannotta, Cappellini, Moroso or Vitra. The lighting we offer comes from Flos, Artemide and Tom Dixon, among others, and we source home fabrics from Création Baumann, Elitis and Timorous Beasties, to name just a few. This collection is the nucleus around which the shop is organized.
CUSTOM-MADE ART COMMISSIONS
Our contacts with a wide range of creative minds enables us to supply bespoke work of the greatest merit, ranging from a colour plan for corporate facilities to a vanity table by designer Piet Hein Eek. Our art commissions serve as the illustrations for these. The art we commissioned from sculptor Marc Ruygrok, for example, served as a model for his commission from the Beurs van Berlage for a new bar in the restaurant, while the commission to Studio Job for a wall unit became the model for a bronze table that Job designed for a private home.
PIET HEIN EEK
Piet Hein Eek is a phenomenon in himself. As a designer, he seamlessly meshes with typical Dutch designers such as J.J.P. Oud, Rietveld or Penaat. He is a formidable constructor and his design language is simple. His work is also recognizable by his original choice of materials, such as scrap timber, leftover aluminium, old doors and window units. Despite his unorthodox methods, he has nevertheless been able to set up a small factory where small series of furniture are manufactured. Everything can be modified or customized, which is what makes Piet Hein Eek is our most important supplier.
Claudy Jongstra specializes in felt. Her work is unusual and has already been included in numerous exhibitions in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Various Dutch museums have her work in their collections. At international level, her work can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and in the Moma in New York, to name but two. Claudy’s fabrics are part primitive, part magical. Some materials resemble long-haired bison hides, and yet there are fragile transparent glass curtains with soft flakes of felt applied to silk chiffons and organzas.
KONINKLIJKE TICHELAAR MAKKUM
Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum is the oldest company in the Netherlands (in business since 1594). In addition, it is one of the most famous ceramic concerns in Europe, renowned for its vast collection of hand-painted earthenware and tile collection. Tichelaar also works with talented young designers however, such as Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders and Jurgen Bey; this is why The Frozen Fountain has the complete Tichelaar collection, emphasizing the work of these designers.
The Nederlands Textielmuseum in Tilburg is a national textile museum with a long tradition of commissioning art from designers and artists. These commissions are then realised on the machines present in the museum. This is very small-scale production, of course, but of great merit. The Frozen Fountain has an exclusive alliance with the museum and is therefore able to offer a unique collection of woven damask table linen. The designs come from Guido Geelen, Marc Mulders, Henk Schiffmacher, Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders, Studio Job, etc. The Frozen Fountain also invites designers to design patterns for shawls which are printed at the museum.
EXHIBITIONS, INSTALLATIONS, COMMISSIONED ART
These activities have given rise to great enthusiasm from the public. They are moments that allow the public to explore and the designers to present, both to the full.
18-09-92 Opening exhibition with artist Peter Klashorst and glass objects from France. These glass objects are unique, being designs by Garouste & Bonetti, Christian Duc, Yamo, Pascal Mourgue, and others.
19-03-93 Exhibition Albert Geertjes and Gerda Edens. The work of Albert Geertjes could be described as Baroque, yet executed with pure and raw materials, creating a contemporary image. Gerda Edens exhibits two-dimensional objects with fabric as their basis. Her language of form is simple and her treatment of textiles subtle.
28-05-93 Exhibition in cooperation with Galerie Torch. New work by photographer Jan van der Horn combined with work by Mitsy Groenendijk and Anya Janssen.
17-09-93 Exhibition with Edward van Vliet and Eibert Draisma, graduates of the Academy of Industrial Design in Eindhoven. Edward has a futuristic language of form as seen in his furniture designs, while Eibert makes small, imaginative robots.
12-05-94 Exhibition of upholstered seating elements. Young designers such as Piet Hein Eek, Hugo Timmermans, Edward van Vliet, Henk Stallinga, Eibert Draisma and Paola Kalshoven show their thoughts on this theme in prototypes and scale models.
16-07-94 Exhibition ‘Sixties & Beyond’. Furniture from the Sixties.
11-09-94 Exhibition with Tejo Remy and Viktor & Rolf. This was the first exhibition in a series of four subsidised by the Mondriaan Stichting. The theme of this exhibition was furniture and fashion – Tejo with his poetic furniture designs and Viktor & Rolf with fashion designs that are literally and metaphorically fantastic.
12-11-94 Exhibition with the theatre group Alex d’Electrique and the designer Henk Stallinga. Henk exhibited pure minimalism, while Alex d’Electrique used brute force combined with subtlety to give shape to this exhibition. With grateful thanks to the Mondriaan Stichting.
12-05-95 Exhibition with Edward van Vliet and Fred Kolman. Edward created futuristic furniture for three life spheres, while Fred Kolman followed the visitors with light, music and sound, using sensors, a lot of software and a beamer.
With grateful thanks to the Mondriaan Stichting.
06-10-95 Exhibition with designers Hugo Timmermans and Job Smeets (Studio Job), who showed their vision of the future in the form of a 22-metre-long photograph (...) plus three furniture objects made from synthetics. With grateful thanks to the Mondriaan Stichting.
08-05-96 Exhibition of new furniture from designers Javier Mariscal and Ron Arad. This exhibition was organized in cooperation with the Italian furniture manufacturer Moroso. The exhibition was opened by Javier Mariscal.
02-05-97 Home-office. This was an exhibition with a new home workstation. The exhibition was organized with the cooperation of IBM, Vitra and provider Euronet, plus designer Piet Hein Eek and Finnish designers Teppo Asikainen and Ilkka Terho.
20-09-97 Exhibition of designs by Alessandro Mendini, Marco Zanuso, Gio Ponti, Achille Castiglioni, Cinni Boeri, Anna Gili and Mario Bellini. This exhibition was opened by Alessandro Mendini and Anna Gili.
28-08-98 Patrick Schols. Patrick exhibits his furniture, made from chipboard. Endless sanding and polishing creates the organic forms and a texture that also describes how the furniture has been constructed.
07-05-99 Dutch Individuals. The presentation of a selection from the exhibition organised by the Dutch Individuals foundation in Milan during the Salone Int. del Mobile in the spring of 1999.
28-05-99 Chine de Commande. The ceramist Norman Trapman presented a collection of porcelain which he designed and made himself during one of his study trips to China. As his destination, Norman chose the city of Jingdezhen, approx. 500 km from Shanghai. This city has been the centre of porcelain in China for centuries.
09-10-99 Claudy Jongstra exhibited together with photographer Jannes Linders. Claudy presented her felt collection via her “Not tom dick and harry” label. Jannes Linders exhibits his series of airport photographs made on commission from Schiphol airport
29-9-00 Hidden exhibition. The ‘Hidden’ collection is an initiative by showcase manufacturer sdb industries bv. sdb literally and metaphorically ensured a creative explosion by asking various designers to make designs for furniture that would be put into production by sdb, if possible. A selection of designers, including Christophe Pillet, Ron Arad, Jeffrey Bernett, N2, Kombinat, Richard Hutten, Dum Office and Andreas Weber, were asked to submit designs. This exhibition was opened by Ron Arad.
28-9-01 Exhibition of first commissioned work. This commission was given to the sculptor Marc Ruygrok, who created the table ‘ZEG’. [‘ZEG’ means ‘SAY’ in Dutch]
01-2-02 Commission Studio Job for the design of a bronze table to. Private collection, now given on loan to the Groninger Museum.
20-9-02 Exhibition ‘10 years of The Frozen Fountain’. Work commissioned from Hella Jongerius and Piet Hein Eek. Hella made a series of lamps and Piet Hein – of course – a unique cupboard.
12-12-03 Installation by the Knip brothers. Rene Knip designed a system of illuminated letters that can be used for name signs or route signs, etc. Edgar Knip produced this system. The writer K. Schippers wrote poetry specially for this installation. The Stedelijk Museum of modern art bought this installation in its entirety.
01-6-04 Commission to Studio Job for design cupboard. Modular Cabinet, purchased by the Stedelijk Museum.
02-3-05 First art assignment to Vika Mitrichenk. A tea service, in a production run of 36. 14 have already been sold. Including to the Stedelijk Museum and to the Museum of Arts & Design New York. Vika is now making a range of objects for The Frozen Fountain, including etageres (production run 36).
06-8-06 Glass blower Bernard Heesen was given the assignment to design a ‘Bowl Set’. Production run 1.
02-9-07 Photographer Jannes Linders created his ‘Mooie Idealen’ [Beautiful Ideals] edition the The Frozen Fountain. Print run 7. This consists of a folder containing 8 photos of the Modernistic (Communist) architecture of countries from the Eastern Bloc. With introductions by Laura Staring and Mariëtte Haverman.
02-4-08 Hella Jongerius presented her enamel plates, produced by the crafts company Ando Shippo Crafts (1880). An initiative by Cibone, Tokyo and The Frozen Fountain.
As a result of its working methods, The Frozen Fountain is in direct contact with various creative minds, such as self-producing designers, architects, stylists, photographers, pattern designers and graphic designers. As a consequence, The Frozen Fountain is also an excellent source of advice on total concepts.
Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds
Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment
PCM Landelijke Dagbladen
Uitgeverij Idea Books
Amsterdam, August 2008