Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lessons from Amsterdam

I am just back from a wonderful few days in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, with my partner Nick and our good friends Will and Marie from Old Town clothing ( A bit of a jolly admittedly (and to celebrate Will's umphtht birthday!) - but one with a serious research intent as well.

As progress with making my own delft-style ceramic tiles has come on in leaps and bounds of late, I thought it would be of benefit to re-examine delft tiles en masse and in-situ in the country that developed and first produced them.

And it was very encouraging to see, with the cold grey eyes of experience, that the Delft tiles of Holland have come in all forms and show many of the variations and 'flaws' that I myself have experienced in my tile-making trials.

By and large all Dutch delft tiles measure approximately 13 cm or 5" square. But after that, its pretty much a free-for-all - thicknesses between 6 and 13 mm, variations in the cobalt blue from the very dark, almost black, to the barely there, 'glaze creep', crazing (or not), line distortion and image slippage during firing, smudging, blurring, variable tin-glaze colour and thickness, corner motifs (or not), 'burn out' on the more densely-concentrated spots, pitting of the tin glaze and speckling of the washes. And a finesse of detail ranging from the extremely detailed to the almost unreadably crude and simplistic.

I am vindicated! Onwards and upwards my dear friends!

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