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A Visit to the Royal Delft
In my last travels in August ’17, I was lucky to have joined into one of the local tours to the Royal Delft factory in Delft, Netherlands. Its truly amazing to see how something very Asian has become an icon in Europe. The tour itself covered several places of the Netherlands – Rotterdam, Den Haag, Delft and Madurodam (The Netherlands Miniature Theme Park). However, this post will be focused on how the infamous Blue China is produced at the Royal Delft.
This image above is a good example of how the blue China effect is achieved. First, the object (in this case, the vase) is properly smooth all around then using a transparent sheet, the design is placed against the object and stenciled upon with a piece of charcoal. This stenciled design is later painted over using a type of blue pigment called cobalt oxide. The image below is of one of their artist demonstrating how to paint on to a figure.
Once the object is ready, it is dipped into a glaze and left to set before being put into the kiln for firing.
A finished Blue Delft looks like the above! (Below) Look at the collection of plates created specially for each Christmas.
The influences of this art is not confined to the pottery and tiles but it has also inspired the fashion industry.
(Above) A local Fashion Design student, Tess Van Zalinge took the icon to a new level by applying it onto her garments. The guide mentioned that she spent several months at the Royal Delft to complete her research and for her fashion show, the factory contributed broken earthenware (below) to decor the runway.
This is one of the many fascinating things of how history and culture of the East has in fact inspired the West.
Before I end this post, for those who are interested in pursuing a career as an artist at the Royal Delft; in total, you will need to spend at least 10 years before you will be able to have your own design and signature on the shelves!
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