Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Royal Delft

Delft is famous for Delftware - the hand painted white and blue china - and a visit would not be complete without a tour of one of the factories. While researching the different tour options and places, I found out you could paint your own tile or vase and I knew this was the perfect activity for mom and me.

We arrived at the factory with our creative juices flowing and signed up for a painting workshop. Even after being warned vases are harder than tiles, we quickly signed up to paint our own flower vase (hey, I will now have two vases for flowers in our apartment). Then it was on to a tour of the factory to gather ideas and inspiration.One thing I did not know before visiting the factory was that at some point the clay for Delftware was hard to get and the factory made these gorgeous clay wall tiles and decorations instead.Having gathered our ideas, we were off to the workshop to begin our vases. The artist suggested we use one of their patterns that they apply to the vase with a charcoal rubbing. Yeah right, use someone else's ideas - no way, we had our own!

We started by sketching our designs on the vases with pencils. Mom went with a more modern approach and I used traditional designs.Painting on the vases was like painting with one color of watercolor - everything shows up and and there is no eraser. The paint looks black, but turns the trademark blue in the firing process.Two and half hours later we had finished with our vases. And frankly, I hope they come back from the kiln better than they went in.

Even if our vases get relegated to a storage closet, it was a great experience and hopefully I will be back to paint a tile soon!

**Thanks to Christina, my sister, for giving me this experience as a Christmas present!

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