Local Heart, Global Soul

October 31, 2019

Ceramic Beauty…

Following on from yesterday’s post, the “Parels” (Pearls) events around the Hague display a large variety of artistic talent.  Ceramic art is interesting because taking a simple ingredient like clay can produce a multitude of beautiful results.  Here are just a few…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve edited out Hanneke’s personal details for reasons of Internet privacy, and to stop Phishing etc, If anyone is seriously interested in buying an item from Hanneke, I can connect you both in order to make it happen.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 30, 2019

A Sample Of Little Monsters…

The “Parels” (Pearls) events in the various neighbourhoods display a wealth of creative talent. This ceramic artist makes not only vases, bowls, dishes and the like but also whimsical experiments like these little “monsters”. Actually, one of the means of the word “monster” in Dutch means “Sample“, so in a sort of way this works too! These are samples of imaginative ways to meld clay, adding nails and being intrigued by the results…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 29, 2019

Ceramics And …Going To Lick The Windows!

The Hague’s “Parels” (Pearls) events cover multiple neighbourhoods on different weekends, and display creative talent in each. A few weeks ago I went to another one and in one home, four different people had their various hobbies and artistic pieces on show. This one was all about ceramics, something I know very little about. I tried once long ago to use a potters wheel, sadly my efforts to make a pot that was (a) round, or symmetrical in any form, or (b) would stand up, were for naught.  It’s harder than it looks and takes a good amount of practice to make something like a tall vase. 

My efforts may have been laughable but these pieces are beautiful… I tried my best to get a close up of the shell form decorating the inside of the first bowl, to be honest the photograph doesn’t do it justice. I like the one with the green glaze. but we are downsizing and clearing out at the moment as the house gets a makeover /renovation , and with a ton of household stuff already stacked high in boxes as we emptied rooms and Himself paints, he would have a fit if I bought stuff home at the moment. Still, at least as one of my favourite French saying goes I can: “faire du lèche vitrine” (going to lick the windows!). It’s a wonderful way of conveying the drooling after something that you shouldn’t or can’t reach… brilliant!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 28, 2019

My Kind Of Colour Scheme…

The Hague has a series of events called “Parels” (Pearls) where many neighbourhoods have one weekend a year where artists, collectors and creative people open their homes for the Saturday, Sunday (or both) and the public can come and enjoy their creative talent. Churches and various other organisations also take part, as do musicians, but the list of places to see always far exceeds my capacity to visit them all. Therefore I pick out a few and hope that some of the ones I miss will exhibit during the “Parels” weekend the following year.

On this occasion a few weekends ago in 2019, several artists have chosen to display their creative wares in one home. (Excellent idea!) So far I have enjoyed seeing papier-mâché and weaving, now it’s the turn of the ceramic artist. These vases have beautiful tones of blue and in the second one, blue combined with a sort of earthy rust. My kind of colour scheme, my kind of style. Beautiful!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 12, 2019

Creepy Or Charming? You Decide…

My next find at the Garderen Sand Sculpture Exhibition in 2017 were these (I think they were cast concrete) faces. They remind me a little bit of Shrek, but somehow, for me at least, there is not quite enough charm and whimsy in the expression to avoid them just being creepy. They were too big to use as doorstops (unless you had a barn door that needed propping open, and as a garden ornament I am not sure what you would do with it.  I live in a big city and don’t have a garden but if I did I’m not sure if knowing that Shrek’s cousin was grinning in the moonlight near the potting shed would fill me with confidence or unease.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 11, 2019

Would You Keep A Cow In The Back Garden?

There seems to be a current trend for painting on stone (or concrete). Sometimes these take the form of small decorative pebbles and stones, other times they are intended to be hyper realistic images of other things. The popular theme of the 2017 Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition appeared to be cats, but sheep, cows, birds and even a bear (who I think doubles as a post-box) is included. Some are more realistic than others (intended to be or not) and whilst I like, for instance the black crows and black and white cats for their realism, I can’t think of where I could possibly put them, or how I would want them at home.  But full sized sheep and cows? That would make for an “interesting” garden (if I had one).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 9, 2019

When Not Washing Up The Pots Is A Good Thing…

Visiting the Garderen Sand Sculpture Exhibition 2017, I found a selection of decorative pots, jars, bottles and the like to photograph and include in my artistic reference and inspiration files. Age, dust, chips and dents are all part of the charm of these pieces and so doing the washing up, cleaning or repairing them would certainly be detrimental in these instances. Cleaning up would be wiping away the character that comes with dusty bottles and lamps so I’m delighted to see that these have been presented in their “as is” state.

I also love that these are all a break from the endless stream of plastic goods, since most of them were made before the “plastic explosion” took place. I hope that we can be inspired to return to more products that use less plastic for the sake of our planet, these were made to last and we need to return to that ideology more too. If only that could be managed despite the constant battle of companies to incite the people of the world towards rampant consumerism.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 24, 2018

The Raspberry Tradition…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you ask any long term resident about going raspberry picking in the Christchurch area, one name will come quickly to the fore. “Pataka”.

This berry farm is one of the many fruit and veggies growers along Marshland Road, the home of market gardens for many a generation.

My mother used to get vegetables from Tralevens, but the lady who owned the property has long since retired and I think by now, probably passed away.

The place is now looking sadly abandoned and rather derelict.

Pataka however is still going from strength to strength and not only can you get raspberries, you can also get fresh fruit ice-creams, made from the freshly picked berries.

It’s quickly obvious that someone in the family has a pottery hobby, various pieces are on display for purchase.

They are bright, quirky and different. I like them. There are flowers in pots begging to be photographed so I amd the last one into the shed to look around before we settle our bill and leave.

The weather was rather too hot for berry picking, a wonderful 31 C / 87.8 F but we braved the sun and picked anyway.

We split up into pairs, Kiwi Daughter and I picked berries and ate as many as we picked, I took photographs of her picking and eating berries upon her request (for her Instagram friends) whilst Little Mr  (berry hater) and Himself, (eater but not fanatic) picked swiftly and didn’t eat or take photographs.

It was little surprise who filled our containers the fastest. Going berry picking has become a Kiwidutch family tradition and one both kids are especially keen to not miss. It’s a wonderful family outing and for Kiwi Daughter and I, a great exercise about who can get the most berries in our mouths, who can find the best berries (look low down on the bushes is our biggest tip) Kiwi Daughter easily won everything and we had a fabulous time. This is what Family time is about: building your own traditions and each time we carry them on the memories of former visits flood back. I still think that I ate the most berries when we were on the field, but Kiwi Daughter may have evened up the score with the berries paid for later in the car. Despite our varying tastes for fresh fruit, no one in our family blew any raspberries at this outing…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Above and below: Marshland road stalls…)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below: Pataka…)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Above: Little Mr. has his hoodie up because it was a blazing hot the day we picked raspberries (31 C / 87.8 F) and his neck was already pink from earlier outdoor exposure in spite of sunblock. i.e. not enough applications. This is his effort to stop getting sunburnt because “hats are not cool”).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 2, 2018

Do The Funky Chicken…

A few metres from the convent in yesterday’s post, I found a shop with these funky chickens in the window display. Who could fail to be cheered up by these whimsical lovelies?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 24, 2017

Halt ! Artisan At Work…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The narrow street that almost encircles St Janskerk (St Jans Church) in Gouda has the ‘original’ name of “Achter de Kerk” (Behind the Church).

At one point, this little street widens into a sort of regular street size and it’s name changes into “Willem Vroesenplein”.

It is at this point that several exceedingly old buildings can be found, they lean in the fashion of centuries old subsidence problems but stand strong in spite of this.

The closer of the two has an open door and an interesting display in the front window. Always interested in ‘arty’ things, I of course wheel myself over for a closer look.

There is a man working in the back, a vast array of tools fastened neatly to the rear wall and amazing sculptural works of art everywhere. I request permission to photograph his work, and once given, set about snapping what I can from the doorway.

The man is cordial but even when I admire his work, doesn’t invite me in, so I do not presume that I may.

My eye is caught by round and square towers of all sizes, some of them taller than I am, which are crammed full of architectural details.

A kind of cross between the leaning tower of Pisa, the pyramids, an echo of Escher and the spiral of sea shells, these pieces are full of arches galleries, tall doorways, colonnades and staircases. They are fascinating to look at, but other items also clamber for my attention.

There are the wide eyed, colourful little birds, the squares of equally wide eyed faces (which had a sort of “Grover-esque” quality to them … the artist remembers Sesame Street fondly perhaps?). There is even a larger piece that incorporates both of these ideas, and it’s been broken up so that it could be fitted back together mosaic style into a wall, path or floor.

The front window is made up of little panes, these even extend over the door. The man continued to work on the small conical tower in the back, but just as I finished taking photographs he starts putting tools back into their spaces on the wall and drapes a cover over the work that is in progress. This is to stop the clay from drying out too much. This is very much a “made from scratch” workshop, each piece made under one roof front start to finish. That in itself is getting more and more rare these days. The building is interesting too, even the pattern, texture, colour and style of the old roof slates fascinate me. It’s an old workshop in an even older building, and a little quirky discovery. Interestingly, the Google map screen shot also features the multi-roof pattern in St Jans Church, a brilliant additional touch I thought. I’ve marked on the map roughly where this little workshop can be found.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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