Royal Delft Museum presents Delft Earthenware: an ode to craftsmanship. Creating and innovating

2 July 2024

Royal Delft Museum opens the exhibition ‘Delft Earthenware: an ode to craftsmanship. Creating and innovating’ on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. This presentation offers an insight into the world of Royal Delft and the unique process of creating handcrafted Delft Blue. Even in an age of technological advancements, the art of Delftware is still born from the hands of the makers. Craftsmanship that reflects passion, precision, and perseverance. The exhibition can be viewed until January 4, 2025, at the Royal Delft Museum.

 

Meet the craftsmen of Royal Delft

The Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles, internationally known as Royal Delft, has been producing high-quality Delft Blue since 1653. How do you keep an age-old craft alive? Suzanne Klüver, curator at the Royal Delft Museum, explains: “The exhibition tells the story of making Delft Blue and how it relates to the makers of then and now. What does it mean to have been creating artisanal products for over 370 years? This is something only our museum can truly explain from experience.” In addition to the historical perspective, the exhibition also provides insight into the development of the craft over the years and the use of new techniques such as Artificial Intelligence.

 

The process visualized

Delftware consists of clay, glaze, and painting. All the work is streamlined as much as possible to create Delft Blue in the most sustainable and perfect way. The exhibition carefully depicts all the steps: from mixing, pouring, and modeling the clay to hand-painting and the magic of firing in the kiln. Frank Boode, creative architect at the museum, states: “We spoke with the makers about the craft and their passion for innovation. One of them compared the process to an orchestra: There is one person who conducts, the others follow the sound, and ultimately a beautiful symphony emerges.”

 

Masterpieces

For this exhibition, the Royal Delft Museum has borrowed objects from, among others, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and Delft Heritage Archaeology. The centerpiece of the exhibition: a special clock, also known as a longcase clock, comes from Kramer Kunst & Antiek. No other example of this kind is known. The painting and intricate shape not only show that this was a costly and special commission but also a top achievement by the makers of De Porceleyne Fles.

 

Special thanks go to the major shareholders of Royal Delft. “For more than 20 years, we have been investing as a family in Royal Delft to keep the craft of Delft Blue alive for current and future generations,” says John & Marine Fentener van Vlissingen.

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