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Flashback Friendly Friday – A Journey to Delft

DELFT

Delft is a Dutch city renowned for its history of painting. So well preserved since the 17th Century, Delft is also famous as the birthplace of the painter, Vermeer, and home to the exquisite ‘Delft Blue’ earthenware.

I took an English speaking tour at the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles, the Delftware factory dating back to 1653,considered the Dutch Golden Age.

Unassuming building given the treasures that lie inside

Not only did I see magnificent Delft Blue antiques, (even in the ladies toilets), but I got to watch the artists at work, painting new earthenware plates and vases. It was interesting to note that prior to painting, the artist traces the designated pattern in carbon, using strategically placed dots, made through holes in the tracing.  

The designs are painted in black paint, and the firing process burns off the carbon dots, and changes the black paint to the familiar Delft blue colour.

The official Royal Dutch Delft website has the following visual to explain the process:

The Netherlands’ vast legacy of decoration, both on earthenware and wood is a wonderful inspiration to contemporary artists. If you wish to purchase a hand-painted souvenir, take plenty of money with you, as it is expensive. But it is truly magnificent!

It is useful to delve back in history examining all the various influences that facilitated the development of Dutch folk art. For it is not only the Indian and Oriental world that inspired Dutch painters, but also the Scandinavian world with whom the Dutch were vigorous trading partners.

Linking to Sandy’s Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Flashback

You may also find Sarah’s Flashback post on Bletchley park interesting.