It is true! When visiting Delft you may not leave without visiting a shop, a boutique, a school or a museum full of Delft Blue.
Most tourists do visit the Stedelijk Museum at Prinsenhof ...
But you may find all over the place those cute little shops with Delft Blue gifts.
Take your walk in peace and quiet, and enjoy your time when spotting one of these cute little Delft Blue shops ...
and buy your own little Delft Blue souvenir.
As you delve through the various rooms and check the multi-lingual video out it's hard not to notice that there are more colours than blue. Just how difficult that would be I never quite discovered but I can tell you that to get blue in the paintings it has to be fired three times and, when it is first painted on, it's actually black but turns blue during the process.
As for the exquisite colours in pics 1 and 4 that's a whole different, and more expensive, ball game.
The last piece was huge but had a couple of big cracks going through it. Just how expensive an error like that would be beggars the imagination.
As you can see in picture 2 there's no limit to the shapes they come up with for unusual containers while pic 3 shows a splendid classical wall piece.
One of the things that caught my eye wandering through the factory was some of the architecture. A lovely cloister, the entrance portal (2), the other doorways (3) that were obviously from different periods and seem to incorporate bits of Moorish, Dutch and Christian architecture while the last is a piece of stained glass with Delft porcelain a feature.
If there is one single thing that makes Delft known world wide, it's Delftware. Royal Delft produces Delft Blue, an internationally renowned porcelain.
In the 17th century supplies from China, the home of porcelain, weren't always easy to obtain and, of course, there was that small problem of transport. Somehow the jet engine hadn't been invented then.
So we find that Meissen and Delft evolved into two of the major European centres for porcelain and the factory that you enter today was established in 1653.
There is a fee to enter and after that it is well laid out so that you get a good understanding of not only the history but how much of the process is done.
One thing I learned off the lady in pic 2 is that all Royal Delft ware is hand painted and signed individually by the artist. This separates it from the mass manufactured stuff and also means it's slightly harder on the hip pocket.
There are many pieces on display, including commemorative plates for 50 years of flying into Melbourne by the Dutch airline KLM.
Then there was a wall with a long street scene (pic 4 shows part) but the piece de resistance was the copy of Rembrandt's Night Watch. Here something really strange happened. It was only about 3 metres from the previous shot, it was the same blue yet, when I took the shot it came out as black and white. Strange! My only theory is that it was on a slight angle and perhaps the refraction of the light made it a different colour.
Of course Delft is world famous for it’s blue pottery. The Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles is the only remaining factory of the 32 earthenware factories that were established in Delft in the 17th century. Fragile and bulky, you should probably consider shipping as an option rather than carrying these souvenirs around on your vacation. Not normally attracted to this type of memorabilia, I none-the-less acquired a tasteful cookie jar for myself. If you’re just looking for some small cheese boards or dairy creamers as gifts to take home, consider picking up such little items at the Schiphol airport when you leave.
De Porceleyne Fles (The Porcelain Jar) was founded in 1635 and still produces the original Delft Blue ceramics for which the town is world famous.
There is a lot imitations "Delft's Blue" in the souvenir shops but the original Delft Blue is stamped with a blue jar as proof of authenticity. Price is usually a good indication of authenticity as the genuine article is not cheap
Although there are churches,a windmill,a canal...it's the visit to the Pottery Factory what I founded more interesting.Of course,if you have the time go to see afterwards those places or sit down on a chair in Main Square to have some beer if the weather is fine.
We were not able to see two of the larger Delftware factories, which are located outside of town, but we walked past the small factory behind Nieuwe Kerk.
It was fascinating to see artists painting the blue designs on the white porcelain, freehand.
The Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles is the only remaining factory of the 32 earthenware factories that were established in Delft in the 17th century.
Royal Delft is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century still producing entirely handmade Delftware.
Now here's a modern interpretation of Delft Blue pottery ware. On the main page the larger picture features. Here a close up.