Local Heart, Global Soul

April 8, 2016

“Power Painting” At The De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer a long time friend of mine from New Zealand visited The Netherlands.

We met whilst working together in our early twenties and a fast friendship formed that has even survived my relocation to the other side of the world.

We spend quality time together every time our family is in New Zealand and this was her second trip to Europe, albeit with several decades difference. Her daughter (who I will refer to as “G” for reasons of internet privacy), who I first met when she was just a day old and visited on the first trip when she was four and a half years old is now all grown up and working on a special programme as an au pair in Germany.

Study options for G. in Europe were looked into but with the added cost of being an “International student”, work restrictions due to a non EU passport and the higher cost of living she decided that it was better to return to New Zealand to further her studies.

My friend, her Mum, decided that it would be an ideal moment for them to have a bit of special Mother / Daughter time together on this side of the world before her daughter’s time came to leave Europe and of course there was no thought of them skipping around my “neighbourhood” without coming to stay.

They arrived after a whirlwind tour in parts of the UK, and other various parts in Europe and the Dutch summer weather which had been a bit iffy picked up just as they hit our doorstep so we devised a plan that would involve an equal amount of rest and entertainment.

“G” studied Fine Art and is an accomplished artist, so the one must-do activity that we wanted to surprise them with was the possibility to paint their own Delftse tile. In the end it was a part surprise, do to some last minute necessary reorganisations to flights they had such a short time with us that I had to give them the dimensions and asked them to prepare their drawings for their tiles in advance.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch have painted tiles several times in Delft before, at the Royal Delft – De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles :each time with a different set of visitors so we have gotten to know the procedure quite well. Personally I have done the tour several times before (all previous to my accident) so I requested to skip to tour and just paint… the rest joined me after they had done the tour.

Because I know that at some time in the future I will probably be back here, I have made my tile to (eventually) be made of four parts that will fit together. Although I have not yet finalised the pattern for the other three tiles I have the over-all idea for them: columns on the left and right, on the left column containing the first names and birth date of Himself and then mine, on the right column the first names and birth dates of Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr.

In the centre there is an angel holding a banner that reads with our Surname, and the bottom an top just decorated in free hand. (I started with Himself and have edited the photographs to protect our privacy) Kiwi Daughter went with a rather last minute design, Little Mr knew immediately that he want to paint a police car (Many Thanks to the internet for his design inspiration), “G” had a stunningly intricate Wine / Wijn / Vino / Wein tile of her own design and my friend went with a beautiful symmetrical classical design.

The painting is harder and takes longer than it looks… the three of us who had more detailed designs were rushing to get them done within our allotted time, talk about power painting!!! Of course afterwards the tiles have to be taken away to be fired so we get them in the post in our respective countries later on. Stupidly I can not lay my hands on the photographs of what the New Zealand ones turned out like after firing, but will add them if I find them later. After this rather intensive morning we retired to home to rest and catch up on a lot of gossip! I got a few photographs of Delft from the car window… and we really needed one hundred times more time, but loved every second of what we had. We had a blast so I just hope it doesn’t take nearly as long before they can make a return visit !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The paint looks more like ink, is black when it goes on and will be blue after the tile is fired…It also soaks in immediately so there is zero possibility to “rub out” any mistakes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We literally shook from all of this concerted concentration so it’s little wonder we needed a little sugar afterwards and also why I could barely manage to take a sharp photograph…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Letting Your Own Delfts Blauw Creativity Loose…

April 16, 2013

No Hint of The Blues When Looking at Delft’s Blauw…

Filed under: Activities,DELFT,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another diary page from when my New Zealand cousin and his family were visiting us here in The Netherlands. We’ve left the De Lelie Chocolaterie and clutching our chocolate creations, and bought treats in our bags,  have a little time to kill before meeting back up with Himself and Little Mr.

Since achieving possession of our chocolates in their bags, and this also invariably meant “testing” a few of our creations and purchases, (“quality control” being one of the most important parts of the entire procedure  you understand)  a decision is reached between the adults that a little more walking in Delft would at least be a token gesture toward burning off a few of the calories we have added to today’s supersized and sugary total.

Since Himself and I realised that my cousin and family would not be with us long enough to do all of the possible treats on any decent visitors list, we had chosen to bring them chocolate making today instead of tile painting as we had previously done with several other lots of  visiting friends and family.

My cousins boys were especially pleased with this decision, but my cousin and his wife still wanted to take a quick peek at the world famous Delft’s Blauw.  Luckily there are a few shops in the centre of Delft where you can watch artisan painters at work:  hand painting what will become the blue and white patterns, so it’s to one of these establishments that we head next for a look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 17, 2013

Letting Your Own Delfts Blauw Creativity Loose…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We wanted to do something very special with our New Zealand friends when they visited a few years ago so bought them to the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles  (The Royal Porcelain Bottle) pottery in Delft for a unique experience.

In this establishment, where the  famous Delfts Blauw (Delft Blue) has been in continuous production for more than 350 years it’s possible to paint your very own blue and white tile or small earthenware piece.

Since we are not experienced pottery artists we opted for the safer option of the flat surface of a tile rather than the possible Christmas bauble.

The workshops (reservations necessary in advance)  take two and a half hours and the brushes, the paint and the earthenware item to be painted are provided. Our tiles are 13 x 13 cm in size ( 5 x 5 inches) square and cost € 37,50 per person.

The staff provide  papers with various popular patterns  of things like windmills and flowers pinpricked into it and then they dust it with some sort of coloured dust that  goes through the holes and leaves a join-the-dots type of pattern on the tile to give you a starting image to fill in and embellish, or you can simply make your own image free-hand.

I’d made a tile here before with American friends who we also bought here in 2007  for a visit, and after learning from the first trip that there was an option to design your own tile, I took inspiration from my favourite plate: also a small  Royal Delft and designed my own tile ( or “ode to Delft ” since it’s a poor imitation of the professional version), preparing it with a zillion tiny pin pricks before I went and luckily it all worked fine when they dusted it with the coloured powder: the image transferred correctly.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You paint your tile in what looks like thin black paint which turns into the beautiful blue once the tile is fired.

The lighter your paint layer the lighter the colour blue and I now know that if you want really intense dark blue that you need to make several layers of paint because some sections of my tile still weren’t as dark in colour as I intended to them be.

The paint substance kind of soaks instantly into the tile, there is no second-chance for error and no rubbing out so a steady hand is needed and you get a very short practice on some small shards of earthenware before you start your tile design.

A few points worth noting: If you have a complex piece like my second tile you’ll be under real pressure to finish on time, the time zooms by and there are no extensions of time in the workshop possible.

You tend to try and hold your breath a lot as you attempt to keep a steady hand so it’s intense work!

There’s an age limit so Little Mr. who was too young on our first trip here, went to a playground with Himself instead. Also if I go here to make a tile again I will ask if  it’s at all possible to skip the tour of the factory that’s included in the price and use the extra time to paint instead.

After you’ve painted your tile they will take it away to be  fired and you can pick it up in person at a later date or pay extra to have it posted to you worldwide. The others got their tiles posted to their home address overseas since they were busy touring Europe so I didn’t see them finished, but I have “before and after” photos of our tiles so that you can see get an idea of what they look like after firing. (I’ve edited the photos to remove some identifying name information).

http://www.royaldelft.com/index.asp?lang=2

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Different interpretations of the same patterns: the butterflies were very popular with the kids, windmills with the adults.

(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)

I chose the above pattern as well for my first tile: before, after photo follows…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr. was old enough to take part the second time and went for a free-hand design of his own making (incorporating several names)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Turned out brilliantly!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My little plate is my beautiful inspiration…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My second tile…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 16, 2013

Oh YES! It’s a Royal Flush!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers of my blog will know that I seem have a knack for finding unusual loos.

Some of these lavatories are truly quirky, some come with a view, some a highly decorated and most of them will leave you with a smile on your face.

I’m a firm believer that creative expression, humour and beauty should be found in as many places as possible and but sadly sometimes the most functional places in our lives, where we spend time every day are completely sterile and without character instead of being places of inspiration.

Here in the premises of the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles  (The Royal Porcelain Bottle) in Delft I was delighted to find that even the toilet bowl was decorated with the companies iconic flourishes.

Blue and white tiles have been a traditional feature in Dutch households for many centuries and as one of the Dutch pottery companies responsible for producing these tiles it was nice to see that they decided to use the blank canvas of the walls of their public toilets to showcase just a few of their designs.

There are  mirrors over the hand basins in this Ladies loo,  and the lights caused some difficulties with reflection on the tiles so getting the photos, but I did my best and I think that this set of conveniences is inspired: A right Royal Flush!

(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)

January 15, 2013

Centuries Old or Recently New, Stunning Hardly Covers it…

Filed under: DELFT,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing from yesterday’s post I’ve dived into my archive photos and and taking you to a town very close to The Hague: Delft.

From humble beginnings in 1653 the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles  (The Royal Porcelain Bottle) pottery in Delft has managed to help make Delft world famous for it’s blue and white earthenware.

It may come as a surprise but not all of the pottery that’s known as “Delftware” is blue and white in colour.

There are other famous and specific types and styles of earthenware (tulip holders and shaped plates that fit together etc) that incorporate many colours and for many centuries these were actually as popular as the blue and white pieces but in the last centuries it’s the distinctive blue and white pattern that  became a fashion icon and gained the most popularity therefore stealing the limelight.

The Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles has  a long centuries long  association with the Dutch royal family and was granted the right to incorporate the word “royal” into the name of their company in 1919 in  recognition of this.

Inside the factory it’s possible to see the companies own collection, treasures, some of them as old as the company itself.  There were also some stunning hand painted examples in the shop (with matching stunning prices). But you are at least paying for something totally hand-crafted and a beautiful work of art in it’s own right:  They take my breath away…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Koninklijke_Porceleyne_Fles

(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)

(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)

January 14, 2013

A Very Different Type of Delftware…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A few more posts from my archive stock of photos.

Some years ago we had good friends visiting from New Zealand and we wanted to take them somewhere where they could do something that would provide a lasting memory of their trip to the Netherlands.

The Hague borders with the smaller town of Delft, world famous for it’s blue and white tin-glazed pottery so we took them for a special experience to the oldest  pottery in Delft  still in continuous production after over 350 years: the  Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles.

The company has been in various Delft locations since the 17th century, but has been in it’s current location since 1916.

The building itself is a work of art is is richly decorated in stained glass, tiles and pottery both inside and out.

There are amazing tile murals: even a highly detailed blue and white representation of Rembrandt’s  famous painting  “De Nachtwacht” (the Night Watch).

Delft potteries didn’t only make the blue and white plates they are most famous for:  to pay the bills they also made everything from chimney pots to drainpipes and a lot of  pottery architectural decoration, some of which have been incorporated into their own building over the years.

There’s also a small inner courtyard where the ornamentation continues. Needless to say all of the pottery was made here by the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles staff. So… before we take a look at the pottery that Delft is famous for, let’s take a look at some of this beautiful craftsmanship.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Koninklijke_Porceleyne_Fles

(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)

(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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