Design & production
Compiling the clay
We manufacture all our hand-painted Delft blue with cretaceous earth: faience (which is a type of tin-glazed earthenware ceramic). We use more than ten raw materials to meticulously sift our clay closely together. It is important that the earthenware has exactly the right compressive stress. Doing so prevents cracks in the final product. In order to achieve this quality, we bake the earthenware at a temperature of approximately 1,220 degrees Celsius.
The clay itself can be difficult to paint on. This is because the porosity is far from optimal. Therefore, an Engobe-layer is transferred to the cooked earthenware (biscuit). Engobe is a thin layer of clay with perfect water absorption that improves the texture. This ensures that the paint flows on nicely and that the shades of blue come out beautifully. Now, the pottery painter can begin work.
After the painting (or in the case of souvenirs from our factory in China: the transfer) is applied, we apply a glaze. We make it ourselves. In the furnace, the painting/transfer mixes itself with the glaze. The painting is baked into it. Now nothing can be changed: another Delftware product is ready.
We make our own paints, using raw materials that we purchase. Cobalt is the main raw material. In the oven, the paint reacts with the heat, which produces the blue tints.
How do you recognize genuine Delft Blue design?
Genuine Delft Blue can be recognized by a certain number of aspects. Naturally, by the colors. Delft blue is made up of five blues. The more the paint is diluted with water, the lighter the tint. The structure of the colors gives depth and therefore largely determines the quality and appearance of the painting. Also typical are the contours and the lines: a thick onset becoming an increasingly thin spout. Further recognition of Delft blue comes from the white space between the blue color and lines. A design is never fully colored.
Balance between tradition and innovation
From these principles everything is possible. We make designs that follow close to the tradition, as well as innovative designs. Think of larger transfers that are well-proportioned. It is precisely this balance between tradition and innovation that makes for great designs. Easier on the eye and, therefore, also suitable for modern interiors. Even our design pottery is completely Delft Blue.
Heinen Delfts Blauw employs two of the best master painters - Wilma Plaisier and Simon van Oosten. They are trained as Delft Blue painters and love to invent innovative layouts which appeal to new generations. For our design products, we work with four renowned freelance artists: Romy Kühne, Geke Lensink, Debbie Wijskamp and Richard Hutten. Together with them, we bring Delftware into the future.