Local Heart, Global Soul

March 12, 2017

The Most Unlikely Shoe Collection…

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

This post finds us still at “Ijsboerderij Labora“, a dairy farm in Texel that uses it’s fresh milk to make the most delectable of treats: ice-cream.

The date was Easter 2016 and Family Kiwidutch were enjoying a much needed long weekend break with two other sets of friends and their children.

Our children were reluctant to leave, not just due to the fabulous ice-cream, but also the abundance of a large variety of playground equipment and toys,  and not least, the presence of at least four large trampolines.

The afternoon was getting on, and the crowd of other visitors who had smaller children suddenly disappeared as their kids dinner and bed times approached, so our party soon had all four of the trampolines almost to themselves.

With queues gone, I took photographs of them jumping for the family album, but their passion for jumping outlasted mine in the end and feeling a little bored after another rest, I moved back toward the car, where other things had caught my eye. I’d spotted some lovely clogs on display as I arrived and wanted to get some photos for my ” reference library” album.

After all, it’s always helpful to have a few studies to refer to should the sketching bug arise.  To this end I set to work making various photographs, attempting various angles and zooms so that the most could be made of these lovely “klompen” (clogs). To be fair, not having a tripod with me, especially in the strong wind, didn’t help and for some reason the colours are lighter and more washed out in the end results than they were in real life, but the “bones” are there. Regular readers will know I adore old stuff like this, I hope you like them too.

(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 )

March 22, 2015

The Biggest Shoe Collection: Or … Just The Biggest Shoes?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post we have made a detour from our route home from our long weekend in a holiday park in the Veluwe.

We have come to visit  the  “Veluws Zandsculpturenfestijn”  (Veluwe Sand Sculpture Festival)  in  Garderen, a small village in the Veluwe, Netherlands.

Near the entrance, before you get into the indoor and outdoor areas that contain the sand sculptures, there are  some other amazing objects that capture my attention.

Dotted amongst all the garden objects there are some massive klompen (clogs) which have been decorated by different artists and together they make up a small exhibition of their own.

To be honest I did at first wonder if my Himself had just kicked off his shoes, because being tall in true Dutch style, he has feet the size of small boats, but then I realised that none of his are in his colour so they must belong to somebody else.

Since these “shoes” were not all in one area and being on crutches forced me to take the most economical route around the items and the crowd I’m positive that I missed getting photographs of them all. That said, I am very very impressed by the level of talent expressed here… I’m not certain if they were part of any sort of competition and if so, who eventually “walked away” with the prize, but they are amazing and it’s a pity that I didn’t get to photograph them all.

(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)

 

 

March 6, 2014

The Very Strange Mixture Of Wonder And Disbelief…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tourist shops are tourist shops: piled high with merchandise that can generally be classified as “the good, the bad and the ugly”…

…or more often ” the ugly, the useless and ugly and the both tasteless, useless and ugly”.

Here in Zaans Schans it’s running pretty much to the rule, there are a few tasteful  things and a ton of tat, but most of all there are shoes: tons and tons of wooden shoes.

I’m not an ornamental type of gal, the porcelain figures of the cute kitsch Dutch boy kissing the cute kitsch Dutch girl are light-years from what I would call a stunning addition to my home.

But each to their own… someone must like them and buy them or things like these wouldn’t be on sale in Dutch tourist shops.

Personally I wouldn’t object to a pair of klompen (clogs / wooden shoes) , but my pair of choice would preferably be old, even antique, very well used, plain in style and have been clearly worn. They would have ( preferably long)  history and character. Imagine my shock therefore when I came around the corner of the corridor in the museum and discovered the tourist shop. “Wall to Wall” clogs is n understatement… it’s wall to wall and floor to ceiling and the entire ceiling covered with clogs. The loft space of the building is visible and even that is a storage space for clogs.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You name a shoe size and they will surely have clogs here to fit, I can seriously say I have never seen so many clogs in one space, and in fact I hazard a guess that some regular Dutch shoe shops have less pairs than this. From a photographic point of view it’s fascinating,  from a personal point of view I’m cringing, it’s like a weird melange of  “Oh Wow!” and “Ew!” at the same time.

At one end of the room it’s possible to see a demonstration of how the clogs are made, as I stand taking photographs a young man comes and carves out a little more on a clog mounted on a lathe nearby. I find the rough, less hewn pairs more fascinating than the shiny, glossy, painted finished pairs.

I also like the decoration on the old metal till better than the little porcelain blue and white windmills.  Sigh, having confessed that must I now relinquish my Dutch nationality? Is this treason? These clogs are fascinating: I wonder on earth buys them all, do they actually try and wear them? ( I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall when they did because surely these can’t be correctly fitted or comfortable?) …do they hang them on the wall? …do they park pot plants in them? .. or are they shoved in the back of a cupboard or adorn the cistern on the loo?

I have a smile on my face… one of wonder and disbelief, but each to their own I suppose: what scares me in this room obviously makes a lot of other tourists very, very happy indeed. Mind you, upon reflection maybe it’s me that’s the odd one out here, after all I adore old tools and patterns on street drain covers… One thing is for certain: The object that is one man’s nightmare is another’s dream, and wht not? … each to their own.

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 5, 2014

From The Stunningly Beautiful To The Dreadfully Bizarre….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Everyone knows that a special occasion such as a wedding is often a time when people splash out on a new outfit and shoes.

This is not a modern tradition, and in fact, in one respect grooms have less hard work to do in preparing for their nuptials now than in times of old.

Here in the museum at Zaans Schans, back in the summer of 2012 I learned lots of new things about Dutch traditions to do with “klompen” (clogs / wooden shoes) such asone information board tells me:

” If you were to be married on Marken or elsewhere a unique task awaited the bridegroom- this was to carve a pair of clogs by hand.

Beautiful motifs often with a symbolical meaning were used, sometimes the brides name and wedding date were engraved, and after many. many hours of intensive work an exclusive gift for the bride -to-be was created. The beautiful clogs were worn with pride once the pair were engaged.  The Marken bridegroom used many motifs and patterns in his carvings. Varying from figurative to symbolical – such as the bird which symbolizes fertility: and geometric to semi-abstract – such as the use of rosettes, stars, interwoven hearts, spirals and knots. Incredibly time consuming, the clogs are a true expression of love!”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Religion also determined footwear in centuries past, another information board tells me: ” Church clogs from Hindeloopen (1675)  These wooden shoes are about 300 years old, dating back to the period of early Hindeloopen folk art. At that time religion determined he lives of the people, more so than it does now- even footwear was decorated with biblical images. In this case the right clog shows “The lost son in grief” and the left “The lost son in splendour“.

It’s hard to get a photograph though the glass of the cabinet, but the colour and detail is exquisite…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Platijnen”In the middle ages the wooden sandal developed into the “pattern”or “platijnen”. the “pattern”served as overshoe in which a thin slipper was worn. The metal platform meant that leather shoes and garments made less contact with street dirt. These “platijnen”date back to the 15th century.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Elegant carved, possibly bridal clogs, acquired in 2001, presumed to be from East Friesland, just over the German border.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And other clog from around Europe are sometimes just as ornate: These are from the Pyrenees area of France.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A special hatchet for clog makers (with a tilted handle) used to chop the rough clog shape out of a block of wood. Three special scooped chisels/drills are used to hollow out the foot opening.

It’s also worth noting that the “tourist” clog  that can be bought in many a Dutch souvenir shop differs vastly in fit to “real” klompen still worn today on farms, docks etc as proper working shoes. People who work in klompen have appointments with the makers who custom fit the inside of the clog so that it fits the wearer perfectly, so no rough edges and hard uncomfortable bits in their shoes, unlike the poor tourist who is generally lumbered with the “one size fits all” version.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Of course where you have the sublime you will usually also find the ridiculous: The Dutch have a sense of humour and this is reflected in their klompen… from mimicking leather shoes to the rather unsteady looking high heeled clog, there are also a selection on display that range from the funny to the cringe-worthy…

(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)

March 4, 2014

The Humble, But Hard Working Wooden Shoe…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here in Zaans Schans, located a short distance from Amsterdam an a short distance  past Schipol airport, the museums’ curators have tried to make as much of the historic buildings as they can.

In this particular area they have made a set of 18th Century storage barns and warehouses formerly used for storing grain and dry goods into museum, souvenir and catering buildings and have been laid out to form a central square.

The buildings themselves are wooden because this was the most convenient building material for the soft peaty soil in this area and they were tarred for protection against mildew. Now theta they are protected against the damp they have to stand up to the tourist hordes.

The weather has been fickle and so it’s quiet here today, so although some areas are busy we have other areas almost all to ourselves. In the “klompenmakerij” (wooden shoe / clog workshop) there is also a museum that details the history of  “klompen” (clogs) and shows just how much of an integral part of Dutch life they were. Certainly as “working shoes” they were owned by almost every man, woman and child and there were many companies making them around the Netherlands to keep up with demand. Klompen were also not just confined to The Netherlands in centuries past, as working shoes they were also worn extensively in Belgium, France, Germany and many other European countries.

One thing I did not realise before though were the regional differences in the styles and shapes of the klompen… the large glass display cabinets hold many examples of both local and even some international examples.  The wooden shoe may be humble but it’s got a long and colourful history…

(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)

March 19, 2011

Going to Jail in your Wooden Shoes is Thirsty Work…

We continue our adventures with the St Nicolaas  Boat Club of Amsterdam. (http://amsterdamboatclub.com/index.html)

The Dutch have always been imaginative when it comes to using space. This is not the first place in The Netherlands where I have seen this arrangement of “building” incorporated into and under a bridge,  and in all the other cases, these were the local prisons!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Dutch can’t be accused of being unimaginative when it comes to finding ways to  feature the nation’s icons.

Not only did everyone who saw this “klompen” (wooden shoe) have a giggle, but afterwards the thought occurred to me:   Is it a single lost soul sole or might it be one of a pair?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Lastly there are the buildings that you see regularly along canal sides in all old cities in the Netherlands… they have a  building style and windows that are particular to them all.. and all of them will be sporting the traditional “hijsbalk” or lifting beam , as featured in this post https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/new-327/.

So did you know that all these buildings started off life as breweries? Yep… and there are lots and lot of them too. Why so many?

Well, sad to say, In Europe drinking water of centuries past simply wasn’t fit to drink. Contamination with sewerage and other waste materials made it the least healthy beverage of all, so the populous drank  beer instead. Even children drank weak beer. That’s the reason that little breweries were everywhere,  and they mostly had this “standardised” style.

The hijsbalk was naturally in service to lift the barrels of beer, and the central windows designed in this shape  for easiest transferral  of the barrels and ingredients.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 13, 2010

A traditional Dutch Clog …or not.

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As can happen in Bloggy World,  you can have good days and bad, and for the last week I’ve been fighting a head-cold that’s been getting steadily worse.

It’s a total pest for my lung condition and asthma stability and one of the biggest and seemingly unnecessary annoyances of life, but C’est la vie, I will live. Sadly a big spike  in medication  is necessary to keep the health wobble just a wobble and not a crash,  has reduced my concentration skills to zero and my drowsiness levels to about 200 %.

Since yesterday I’ve retreated into bed so before I take more pills, exhaust yet another box of tissues  blowing my nose, roll over  and sleep again,  but here is a photo taken whilst  out on one of my walks of recent weeks.

I spied a traditional Dutch clog nailed to the street wall outside a house.

Clearly the owner  has a sense of humour and has put their own very distinctive twist onto a very Dutch icon that is often displayed in a rather more kitsch manner.

It made me smile  and had me reaching for my camera…

So your new  Dutch word for today is the name given to traditional Dutch wooden shoes: pronounced as “clomp-pen

klomp/klompen” = clog/clogs.

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