Zollverein Essen and More Industrial Heritage in the Crammed Ruhr Area

Zollverein Essen and More Industrial Heritage in the Crammed Ruhr Area

Despite the industrialization of the area my favourite place to go was the Ruhr area in Germany. When I still lived in the Netherlands, it was a car journey of 1,5 hours from our house. 

The area became the “European Capital of Culture” in 2010. This meant a facelift for a region that had been a dirty, neglected orphan since the mines and steel industry slowly came to a halt.

There are a lot of interesting places nowadays, but my favourites are Insel Hombroich and Zollverein Essen.

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5 Practical Criteria for Reviewing Ceramic Art to Enjoy it Even More

5 Practical Criteria for Reviewing Ceramic Art to Enjoy it Even More

This summer I was able to rethink my criteria for reviewing ceramic art when Tom and I visited Villa Datris in France. 

A themed exhibition is organized in this villa every year. To my great luck, the theme this year (2022) was ceramics. The ceramic art was grouped over 4 floors and there was also a lot of ceramic work to be seen in the garden.

Thanks to founder Danièle Kapel-Marcovici’s love for art and her altruism, the villa and its exhibition is free to enter from May to October each year. It’s a marvellous initiative and was an unexpected discovery for us.

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Insel Hombroich, a Stunning Place of Art, Architecture and Nature 

Insel Hombroich, a Stunning Place of Art, Architecture and Nature

When I still lived in the Netherlands, Insel Hombroich was a car journey of 1,5 hours from our house. I have visited the location often with friends and family and it was a favourite day out for my staff and me.

An average museum visit lasts between one and two hours. Visiting Insel Hombroich can easily take up a whole day. One of the reasons why it is perfect for a short getaway.

The area is a breathtaking landscape full of little buildings, beautiful vegetation, and most of all a lot of art in all disciplines and genres.

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Fantastic Outdoor Land Art on the Estate of Winery Chateau la Coste

Fantastic Outdoor Land Art on the Estate of Winery Chateau la Coste

A landscape is often beautiful in itself. Nevertheless, a conscious addition by an artist can be of great added value. It contributes to a different experience of the environment.

My travels have already taken me to several places with landscape art on display or as part of the collection, such as Insel Hombroich in Germany, Museum Kröller-Müller in the Netherlands, and the Beaufort event in Belgium.

In this article, I will tell you about another great location that is well worth visiting: the organic winery Chateau la Coste.

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Where to Sell your Products of your Creative Hobby or Business

Where to Sell your Products of your Creative Hobby or Business

There are many aspects to think about when you want to monetize your hobby. Where to sell your products is a major one.

When I still was a graphic designer I always joked I should find a new hobby, because I didn’t have one anymore by making a business of my drawing skills.

And in a way, I did find another hobby when I returned to one of my former passions: ceramics. So I have experienced several hobbies that make money and know what difficulties and pleasures might come your way.

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Intermezzo – Get Inspiration from Creativity

Intermezzo - Get Inspiration from Creativity

Inspiration and creativity are must-haves for me. Irregularly I make drawings, collages or mixed media in some kind of theme.

It helps me keep my creative skills flowing.

An intermezzo is a short piece of music written to be played on its own or as part of a longer piece. For me, it’s a welcome break in my daily activities.

In the video are a couple of examples.

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Ceramics in Magical Colours. How to Use the Colour of Clay Itself?

Ceramics in Magical Colours. How to Use the Colour of Clay Itself?

Decorating your ceramics can be done in many ways. Your clay object can be glazed or painted with engobes and underglazes. Even screen printing or applying transfers are possibilities.

A pure way of working is using the colour of the clay itself with at most a transparent glaze to emphasize the colours and make the object watertight.

Clay has different colours depending on the substances in the soil of the quarry. The clay you buy in the shops usually has only a few colours: it’s white, red, or ‘black’ (rather dark-brown) after firing. Due to the industrialized process, the tones are generally the same every time.

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Dyeing with Plants, a Natural Way of Colouring Fabric or Paper

Dyeing with Plants, a Natural Way of Colouring Fabric or Paper

Botanical colouring, natural colouring, or plant colouring are different names for dyeing with plants. All with the objective of having a toxic-free or almost toxic-free dyeing process.

As a ceramicist, I was always interested in the way colours are produced. I made my own coloured slips for years and when I wrote my article about the different colours of clay my interest in natural colouring, in general, was aroused once again.

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Photography is my Passion, why is Taking Pictures Important?

Photography is my Passion, why is Taking Pictures Important?

Taking pictures is narrowing your view in a good sense. Looking through the square hole makes you focus on composition, colour and details of what you see. It’s all about making choices.

When I was 12 years old I got a camera from my granddad. It was an Agfa, that I know for sure. But I am not sure anymore whether it was a Click or a Clack.

All these years I was convinced it was a Clack-II, but googling pictures of it made me wonder. The image in my memory resembles more of the Click-II.

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