Willem Heesen (1925-2007) is one of the pioneers of the Vrij Glas Beweging, the Dutch equivalent of the International Studio Glass Movement. Willem Heesen went to the Leerdam Glasschool from 1943 to 1947, for which he was recruited by Andries Dirk Copier. Especially the classes of Sybren Valkema had a big influence on him. It was probably Valkema who recognized Heesen’s versatile talents and encouraged him to continue his studies at the Vrije Academie in The Hague. Heesen continued working for the Glasfabriek Leerdam, where he designed a diverse range of utility glass, such as tableware and vases and decoration for mass products. From 1960 he devoted himself to creating one-off ‘Unicas’ and in 1967 he became chief-designer. In 1978 Heesen started his own glass workshop De Oude Horn in Acquoy, which became an important meeting place for glass artists. Heesen’s poetic work was often inspired by the surrounding river landscape in Acquoy.