Tales From The Netherlands

What a crazy place! Cars, trams and a million bicycles all hurtling along and seemingly from every direction, seems a miracle that there isn’t a collision every couple of seconds. This multi storey bicycle park is outside Central Station, I’ve never seen anything like it, it holds 2500 bikes and never seemed to be anything other than full to bursting point.

There we were walking along the street minding our own business when we were accosted by this tongue poking wide eyed lizardy chameleon thing! OK it was outside a gallery but twas a bit of a surprise.

We wondered around a lot of little antique shops and flea markets and I fell in love with some beautiful little lead glazed squared handled cups and made it my mission to find one that I could afford to buy. I did in the end and I love it, picture at a later date. However had I had a couple of hundred spare Euros this gorgeous colander would have been coming back to Scotland with me. How lovely is that? It made my mouth water it was so delicious.

I went to Amsterdam on a college trip about 11 years ago, and the thing I loved at the time was the houses. The tall, slim, many windowed buildings with the fancy roof lines. I drew dozens of them back then and then went back to uni and made them in wood and metal and etched printing plates and tiny one with doors that pulled out as drawers and big ones that stacked like Russian dolls which were around my first forays into clay. They were all about secret places and hiding after we had visited the Anne Frank House. Paul and I went back to the house last week, it’s a very strange experience, it’s really well presented with film footage and interviews.

On saturday we caught the train – a double decker train no less – down to Venlo and went to visit Niek Hoogland and Pim van Huisseling who live in Tegelen down near the border of The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Niek and Pim are potters who I have met a few times at fairs here in the UK. They were wonderful hosts, they couldn’t have been more welcoming to us. We had a really wonderful time, thank you so much Niek and Pim. Their home is within the grounds of a monastery and is like a mini Pitt Rivers Museum, treasures and interesting bits and pieces everywhere you look. Such a fascinating place. The building in the picture above is in Germany in Tonisberg and is a private collection of pottery from mainly the village in which it is, and it’s full to bursting point of old slipware! On sunday Niek took myself and Paul out to visit this place which Niek has only recently discovered – what a birthday present for me! A day full of slipware. It’s almost beyond description but kid in a sweet shop would only tell the half of what I was like. I tried to draw things but I was too excited, it was really hard to concentrate because of the excitement. The gentleman who runs the museum has renovated the house in period style, the house was built around 1725 and has apparently always been called the pottery house. He used to collect shards as a child from his parents garden and it has turned into a very large hobby. I’ll try to scan in the leaflet of the place for you later.

In the afternoon we went to the Museum Burg Linn also in Germany with a lovely all be it much smaller collection of slipware. There is in here the fire place that Mary Wondrausch’s Slipware book, the one that has Adam and Eve and the snake surrounded by weird and wonderful creatures.

Roman jars here very much along the lines of the decoration on the mugs that Doug was making the other day. Very beautiful again. It all got a bit overwhelming for me really. We could have done with a week there really. At first I was worried Paul might be bored to tears but I think he was genuinely interested. He told me later that this was the first time he has seen old pots in the flesh and I think he quite enjoyed it thought for how much longer he could have coped I’m not sure.

Here are Pim, Niek and Paul on the little ferry over the river which I think was the river M
(sorry Niek if I have gotten that wrong.) Below is me with my birthday decorations provided by Pim once they found out that it was my birthday that day. Thank you agin you two for having us to stay, we haven’t stopped talking about it since we left, we had a great time.

This entry was posted in birthday, Niek Hoogland, slipware, The Netherlands. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Tales From The Netherlands

  1. You stayed with Nik and PIm! Wow what a treat! And the swarm of bikes…..they definitely have something in common with that creature….

  2. Ron says:

    Wow what a trip! All those bicycles are amazing to see.

  3. Big Al says:

    Welcome Back! Missed you and the blog. Can’t wait to read and see more pics. What a neat trip. Wow!

  4. What a wonderful, inspiring trip.Sounds as though it was just what you needed after a busy summer. I liked that colander-one of my favourite things to make. Thanks for that.

  5. Brad Lail says:

    That sounds like a really amazing trip. I would sure love to look at some of those old pots. With all of the bicycles I dont see how they have people walking.

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