September 27, 2011

Traditional Dutch

On August 2 I went to Amsterdam to document the Batiks made by Carp. That afternoon I visited the Van Gogh Museum & het Rijksmuseum. Haven't visit the Rijksmuseum for ages, and I was surprised to find beautiful, "typical" Dutch items on display. Of course it was forbidden to make pictures and on every corner was a security guard (they don't really trust the tourists in Amsterdam, do they?!), so this time no illegal pictures.

With its two doors and resting on tall legs linked by a stretcher, this large cabinet is a typical piece of Dutch furniture. The cabinet is simply shaped, drawing the focus to the artistic decoration of floral marquetry (Marquetry is a form of inlay in which a variety of materials are arranged to form a kind of jigsaw puzzle). The oak cupboard is veneered all over with various types of wood in which the cabinetmaker, Jan van Mekeren, created still lifes of large, exuberant bouquets. In addition to introducing various types of wood in a range of tints, he also made exploited the effect of the grain. Click on the picture and zoom in!

When I saw this cabinet made by Jan van Mekeren, I knew I should learn more about our Dutch tradition in decorating furniture. It's a beautiful example of the rich culture we had, I say had, because now we buy plain furniture at Ikea.

Drawing: Hendrik J. Lap, collection Fries Museum

Not only did we had a rich culture in decorating furniture, we also painted/baked/decorated/embroidered/laced etc. clothing, interior items like tiles, pottery, wallpaper, carpets, we made wooden shoes & we have some pretty, weird but nice traditions like the Bloemencorso (flower parade). More about that in a upcoming post.

On Saturday I was reading the Volkskrant magazine. In it was an short article about the designer Christien Meindertsma. A Dutch designer who loves old-fashion traditional crafts and use them in her work on a new & inspiring way.
From the project Oak Inside. Oak Inside is a project for Thomas Eyck. A collection made in collaboration with Roosje Hindeloopen and Tinctoria.

In the article they tell about her new project Oak Inside . For this project she works with a familie business called Roosje Hindeloopen, who are specialist in painting the Hindeloopen style. She designed the furniture, they painted the motif.

From the project Oak Inside

"In one curly move he painted the flowers. I could never do that", said Meindertsma. But it was her idea to paint the pattern on the wood with wax. So that the shape stayed unpainted, similar as in the technique Batik. (translated freely from the article in the Volkskrant magazine of 24 September)

When I read that line, I knew. The next few months I will try to learn more about our traditional arts & crafts. I found these three books in the secondhand and I already had some books about Hindeloopen. I'll keep you posted!