Mariette van der Ven is trained as a sculptor, although she quickly experimented with materials unconventional for a sculptor, such as porcelain. For van der Ven porcelain is the most noble material, even though the material is extremely difficult to work with. It could be said that there is a continuous battle between the artist and the material. Van der Ven never applies glaze over her sculpture to highlight the refinement of the faces she sculpts. She sees the application of glaze as a restriction, a shiny layer that distances the viewer from the object.
Van der Ven attempts to capture the spyche of mankind, the soul in one’s body, the non-physical yet leading part of a person. She at times refers to icons we are familiar with, although at other times creates new figures, all this in search of the ultimate form to visualize a feeling. One could say she creates poetry in a physical form. She like a poet searches for a new, unexpected sequence of words, rearranging existing forms until they visualize what she wants.