Delft Blue

     On Friday, August 17th, my fellow UC students and I took a day trip to the quaint old town of Delft. We had spent the previous two days in Amsterdam, partaking in various cultural activities. We visited museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Vertzetsmuseum, and the Anne Frank museum. We also enjoyed a boat tour around the city and paid an obligatory (albeit brief) visit to the Red Light District. Our hotel was located in Rembrant Square, home to many of the city’s clubs. This location, though convenient, did not allow for much peace and quiet, so Delft’s calm, picturesque environment was a welcome break from the constant action.
After an informative lecture on water management in the Netherlands and a quick lunch in the market square, our bus took us to the Delft Blue Museum. Having already visited several museums since my arrival in the Netherlands, I was a bit reluctant at first. However, the Delft Blue exceeded my expectations. Unlike many museums, Delft Blue offered us an engaging, interactive experience. Upon our arrival at the museum, our group was served pie, coffee, and tea in a private room overlooking the courtyard of the museum. We were then led by a knowledgeable and energetic tour guide through the history of Delft Blue.
We walked through several rooms where we were shown movies that took us on a virtual journey through the history of Delft Blue. We learned that the unique blue and white style that is so commonly associated with Dutch culture actually originated in China, and that the paint contains a secret ingredient known only to the manufacturers of Delft Blue. We then got to see the pottery itself, in all of its intricate detail. The best part of the visit was saved for the end, however, when we were all given our own tile to paint! I don’t consider myself a particularly talented artist, but we had the option of using one of several stencils, so I opted to do that. Many of my fellow UC students chose to paint original designs, however, and when our finished tiles arrived in Maastricht weeks later, it was wonderful to see all of the different results.

 

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