Sunday, September 3, 2023

"Going Dutch" Part 2 -- DOEprojekts in Amsterdam and other artful cities in the Netherlands

DOEprojekts (Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering, lead artists) brought their creativity and Coreforms to Amsterdam, Delft, Amersfoort, and other cities in the Netherlands during June and July 2023.

One of our most memorable experiences of the summer was participating in a porcelain tile workshop at the world-renowned Delft porcelain craft-factory, founded in 1653. It is almost impossible to visit any historical site in the Netherlands without the well-known Delft blue-on-white tiles, vases, dinnerware, figurines, etc. In many ways, Royal Delft is synonymous with historical Dutch aesthetic.

We were advised to bring sketches of what we hoped to paint on our tiles to the workshop. Both Deborah and Glenn's designs used DOEprojekts Coreforms (circles, horizontal and vertical lines, swashes and points) as a point of departure. 

The leaders of the workshop gave us some basic instruction and a short period of time to practice with a small brush and the dark-blue-ink-like paint on porcelain scraps. It was difficult to gain even a small amount of skill with the brush, paint, and the texture of the tile. Eventually, we had to accept that our efforts would be imperfect, and we began painting on our 5" x 5" porcelain tiles.

After transferring our sketches to the porcelain, and practicing with the brush and ink-like paint, we were able to create designs that integrated both our DOEprojekts' Coreforms and the Royal Delft tile aesthetic. During the process, and after we had completed the painting, we took photos -- our blog readers can see that the paint looks almost black. We had to leave the tiles to be kiln-fired in Delft. The paint becomes "Delft blue" after firing.

Above left: A welcoming wall displaying Royal Delft porcelain plates.
Above right: Deborah and Glenn with their painted, but not yet kiln-fired, tiles. The tiles stayed in Delft for firing, and we continued our creative adventures in the Netherlands.

Approximately two weeks after we returned to the US, our kiln-fired porcelain tiles arrived from Delft. Overall, we were please with our nascent efforts practiced within the time frame of the workshop -- just 3 hours total.

While we waited for our tiles to arrive, we created a "tulip tower" (shown behind the tiles above). Our "Coreforms Tulip Tower" is based on a pattern that we purchased in the Netherlands -- again, we combined Coreforms and the Delft aesthetic. We used Yupo synthetic paper and Sharpie markers to create our "DOEprojekts Coreform Tulip Tower."

Another memorable adventure for DOEprojekts was traveling to Amersfoort, the Dutch city where Piet Mondrian was born. The Dutch spelling of Mondrian is Mondriaan -- Piet dropped the second "a" when he immigrated to New York City. The city of Amersfoort created a museum in the Mondriaanhuis (the house where Mondrian was born and matured into a young adult). The Mondriaanhuis is a small museum that is an unexpected delight.

All three of Mondrian's art studios -- Amsterdam, Paris, and New York City -- have been recreated to scale in the museum. Visitors are invited to walk through each of his studios. As one walks through the studios, various projections of Mondrian (or rather an actor playing Mondrian) come and go on the walls.

Above: Deborah drinks coffee and converses with a projection of Mondrian in a re-creation of his Paris studio.

Above: Glenn pauses at the top of a circular staircase in one of the large rooms of the Mondriaanhuis. In the background, a timeline shows photographs and reproductions related to the life of Mondrian and the development of his distinct artistic style.

At the end of our self-guided tour of the Mondriaanhuis, we participated in a number of creative opportunities offered to visitors.

After viewing and "making" in Mondriaanhuis, we treated ourselves to "Mondriaangebakje," a cappuccino, and a latte macchiato. Sweet treats concluded our sweet experiences!

Back in the US, soon after our time in the Netherlands, we were treated to a "sweet treat" experience creating Coreforms on cookies provided by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Above: We creatively merge Coreforms and Mondrian-aesthetic at MoMA!
A wonderful way to end our Summer 2023.

We look forward to more sweet experiences in Fall 2023! Thank you to our blog readers for following along.