Durk Valkema attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. After graduation in 1975 he became a student at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague with prof. Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova.
Today, he operates in many venues, from the design and execution of hisy own sculptural works to engineering energy efficient glass systems and equipment for schools, studio artists in Europe, the pacific region and the United States.
He works with both hot and cold glass to analyze the architectonic principles of form and to develop kinetic illusive games of light and shadow.
Recent work consists of large volumes of cast clear and coloured glass, composed and melted by himself.
He tells people that he is a trained artist and an untrained engineer, and he finds it ironic that he has spend so much of his life involved in solving engineering problems. Durk: "But the fact is, being able to think like an artist makes you a very rare kind of an engineer".
"As artists – people who are inspired by visions of the possible, who are fundamentally creative, who are skilled with tools and materials – we must continue to adopt smart and creative solutions to ensure the use of glass as a free and independent medium in the arts in the 21st century".