She sees the human body differently. With her female point of view, research and methods of mixology Esmay Wagemans makes molds, skins, gloves and more for a future humanity.
Where are you based? Do you like it there?
My studio is based in Zaandam/Netherlands which is a city next to Amsterdam. You're there in 15 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central Station. I really love the place. The studio is located in a huge, old factory which now serves as a creative community. You have a rooftop where you can drink beers in the summer and there is also a really nice view of the water. It is located between the place where I live, which is a very small village, and the place where my boyfriend lives (Amsterdam). So now I can easily hop between places.
Did you have formal training in your field?
Not really, although there was a facility at school where they worked with some of the materials I work with nowadays. This is where I have learned the basics of working with latex and rubber. During this period I discovered a shop where I now still buy my materials. By buying and experimenting with many materials I’ve taught myself all the techniques.
What is your studio space like? Are you organized? Is there a window with a view? I picture you like a mad scientist in a lab lol.
Haha, that’s the kind of thing I hear often. I actually do have a microscope standing in my studio so I can feel like a scientist. To be honest, for someone that uses materials which make a big mess, I am quite neat and well-organized. For me, it’s important to have it neat so I can oversee my work and make it feel like an inspiring environment to work in. For example, I have a wall where I collect all my test masks, which is very colorful and inspiring. Furthermore I’m surrounded by body parts in my studio and there is a nice view out of my small window!
Plastic, silicone, rubber and latex - can you put them in order from favorite to least favorite? Do you have any disaster stories with these materials?
From favorite to least favorite: Silicone - plastic - rubber - latex - resin. The funny thing is that many of my projects and objects are derived from failed attempts and tests. Failed attempts have become a technique to create something new.
Do you ever wear your work like on the bus, train or to a party? How do people react generally? What is the most "wearable" stuff you make?
I never really wear my own work, except for this one time at an exhibition where I exposed a short movie I made. I wore a few second skin layers of latex in different skin tones. In the end it wasn’t such a smart move as nobody paid attention to the movie anymore but were curious more about my second skins. I have made wearable stuff in the past. These were 2 piece suits made of latex in collaboration with Bonne Suits. People wore these at parties and I sold some suits on request. It was pretty cool to make something wearable once, as it’s very satisfying to see people wear my pieces. I am thinking of doing that project again.
Have you ever been asked to make a butt piece for anyone? I feel like that would be cool - like a clear plastic butt bra or butt "holder"?
Nobody actually has! I did make clear water bras for Maison the Faux once and I’m now working on a boob-project with a London based designer who I unfortunately can’t disclose at this time. Somehow nobody ever asks me to make anything for the butt, but mostly boobs or other body parts. Probably because those are the parts I work with the most.
Have you ever made a mold of a pregnant belly? or any accessories for one?
No, but I think it would be cool to do some day! Especially because I love to work with the strength of woman.
Are you good at chemistry? Did you get good grades in science?
This would have been an emotional question for me in my teenage years, as I was dying to have chemistry classes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chemistry class because it was combined with physics and most of the lessons were about physics. Every lesson I asked the teacher when we would make explosions and mix weird stuff and look at it through the microscope. Now you probably understand why I have a small children’s microscope standing as a trophy on my desk. As a kid I used to mix all kind of liquids in the bathroom with the hope I would discover something revolutionary!
What song best describes your mood at the moment?
images courtesy of ESMAY WAGEMANS
interview ASHLEY MUNNS
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