Paint Your Own Delft Blue Pottery
Hands down one of the best, and most underutilized experiences in Delft is to paint your own piece of Delft Blue Pottery at De Delftse Pauw.
There are two shops in Delft where you can go see how Delft Blue is made. De Delftse Pauw is the smaller family-owned operation. (Read about our visit here.) Alternatively, you can tour the larger Royal Delft factory. (Read about our visit here.)
De Delftse Pauw also offers you the opportunity to paint your own pottery. Jeff found and booked this experience for me and a girlfriend as a Christmas gift.
You check in at the front desk and are given a little tour through the building, then you are seated in the artists’ bullpen with all the other painters who work painting Delft Blue.
My friend and I were seated at desks facing each other.
You start by working on a practice tile. Our supervising artists got us familiar with the technique and brushes available. He was pretty hands-on during the test tile.
Once he was satisfied that we knew what we were doing we chose a design for our tile. My friend is a legit artist and painted her front door, freehand, on a small plate. It was phenomenal. I stuck to the traditional windmill. Using charcoal we transferred the pattern onto the tile. I was also able to add a church and tree with a pencil to fill out the design and make it unique.
Then we started painting. At this point our supervising artist would return to his desk to do some painting on his own, coming back to check on us every now and then. He would come back and help me frequently, using his brush effortlessly. It took us about two hours to paint the two tiles. We were given hot drinks and a few little snacks while we painted.
A few weeks later we returned to pick up our tiles, which had been fired and glazed. Honestly, I was amazed. I’m proud to display both in my house! (If you cannot pick them up, they will ship them home to you at an extra cost.)
At €35 this is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. This is a great way to truly understand how these beautiful blue pieces are painted and will give you a real appreciation for the work required for the larger pieces.