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A Potted History of Dutch Delftware

Our gallery artist Laura Winstone is a big fan of the Netherlands and is heavily influenced by the tradition of Delftware pottery. With forms ranging from tiles to tulipieres, this decorative pottery style is a true emblem of Dutch heritage and boasts a rich history that stretches back over four centuries.

Laura's ceramic pieces reflect this style with their classic cobalt blue and white colourway and their ornate decoration.

Here's a short history of Delftware's fascinating journey:

Inspired by Eastern Delights: The story begins in the 16th century, when Dutch potters craved to replicate the exquisite yet expensive porcelain imported from China, particularly Ming porcelain known for its stunning cobalt blue designs. Delftware emerged as their response, using tin-glazed earthenware instead of porcelain to create a European alternative.

The Golden Age of Delft: The 17th century, also known as the Dutch Golden Age, witnessed the peak of Delftware production. The city of Delft itself became a hub for potters, with over 33 factories churning out an incredible amount of pottery – estimates suggest over 800 million tiles alone were produced! Delftware adorned homes, palaces, and churches, not just in the Netherlands but across Europe.

The Allure of Blue: While other colours were used throughout its history, the cobalt blue became synonymous with Delftware. The potters developed a mastery in using this particular pigment, achieving a deep and vibrant blue that continues to be admired today.

A Legacy that Lives On: Delftware production declined somewhat in the 18th century, but it never truly faded away. Today, Delftware remains a prized possession for collectors and a cherished element of Dutch heritage. You can still find traditional Delftware factories in Delft, keeping the centuries-old techniques alive.

So, now you know! And if you choose one of Laura's beautiful creations you will own a stunning contemporary and collectable piece made in the tradition of this iconic movement.

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