Delft Blue is still made today by Royal Delft, a renowned company that has been creating these exquisite pieces since 1653. This age-old craft has been passed down from generation to generation, ensuring that the traditional techniques and methods are preserved and continued.
One of the remarkable aspects of Delft Blue is that it is still made entirely by hand in Delft, the birthplace of this iconic pottery. The skilled artisans at Royal Delft meticulously create each piece, paying attention to every detail and using their expertise to bring the designs to life. This dedication to craftsmanship is what sets Delft Blue apart and makes it so highly regarded.
The process of making Delft Blue involves several stages, each requiring precision and skill. It starts with the creation of the clay body, which is carefully mixed and shaped into the desired forms. The pieces are then fired in a kiln to harden them, after which they are coated with a white glaze.
The distinctive blue decorations are hand-painted onto the glazed surface using a fine brush. These designs often feature intricate patterns, floral motifs, and scenes inspired by Dutch landscapes or historical events. The artists at Royal Delft have mastered the art of painting these delicate patterns, ensuring that each stroke is precise and the final result is a true work of art.
After the decoration is applied, the pieces are fired once again to fix the paint and create the glossy finish that is characteristic of Delft Blue. This final firing is a crucial step, as it determines the durability and quality of the piece. The expertise of the artisans is essential in achieving the desired result, as they must carefully control the temperature and duration of the firing process.
While Royal Delft continues to produce classic Delft Blue pieces that adhere to the traditional designs and patterns, they also offer contemporary decorations that cater to modern tastes. This blend of tradition and innovation allows them to appeal to a wide range of customers and ensures that Delft Blue remains relevant and cherished in today's world.
Personally, I have had the privilege of visiting the Royal Delft factory in Delft, Netherlands, and witnessing the craftsmanship that goes into making Delft Blue. It was awe-inspiring to see the artists at work, delicately painting the intricate designs onto the pottery. The attention to detail and the passion they displayed for their craft was truly remarkable.
Delft Blue is still very much alive and thriving, thanks to the dedication and skill of the artisans at Royal Delft. The timeless beauty and exquisite craftsmanship of these pieces continue to captivate art lovers and collectors around the world. Whether it be a classic design or a contemporary creation, each Delft Blue piece is a testament to the rich history and enduring appeal of this iconic pottery.