Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lately ... in the Netherlands

I've been back for a week, and haven't had time to report!
We started out by each travelling separately to Rotterdam.
Ian got there on the Thursday night after a couple of days on business in Brussels.

I took the Eurostar on the Saturday, and after arriving in Brussels took the next train to Antwerp. Ian was there to meet me, and thanks to text messages we managed to locate one another. The station has just been redeveloped, and the arrivals information is not displayed anywhere prominent.
We walked down the road, and had supper before heading on to Rotterdam.

The next day we took the train up to Groningen in the NE of the Netherlands to meet my friend Gerben, and his girlfriend, Mijke.

We had a great day with them, and even managed to see some Open Studios, fortuitously open that day.
Amongst these was the silversmith, Willem Tredgett.

A quiet day in Rotterdam lead up to the opening of the railway signalling conference. We managed to wangle a visit to Folly DOCK Heijplaat, which should have been closed as it was a Monday. This international sculpture exhibition is in a now less used area of Rotterdam's docklands. Heijplaat is a model village, now in decline.

It is hoped that Folly DOCK will bring more people to visit the area. This exhibit is by a Scot.

The first day of the guests programme (Tuesday) included a visit to Amsterdam. I left by train before the rest of the party, so that I could do a few things on my own. I had been told by a lady on the train going to Groningen that I should visit a wool shop in the city centre, de Afstap. She said that they have lovely yarn. It was good, a Rowan stockist, and easy to find. While waiting for it to open I found a good architectural bookshop Arhitectura & Natura nearby.

Later, after a little shopping, I met up with my downstream SP10 pal, Clasca. I was able to take her some heavier goods than I would have posted. We met in the cafe where the Amsterdam SnB group meet, Cafe de Jaren.

Most of the time I was struggling to speak, but suddenly, shortly before we parted my voice came back. It was a pity that we had so little time together.

I rejoined the group, and after lunch at the Star Ferry we went to visit Gassan Diamonds.

Here we were able to handle rings and other diamond jewellery, some pieces costing up to €9000.00. As I carry a x10 magnifying lens with me, I had a great time looking at the details of the settings.

Back in Rotterdam the next morning I saw this unusual use of public transport to move bottles of water and soft drinks. The train was moving, and I was too hasty to wait for my flash to wake up.

On the Thursday I missed out on the first part of the guests programme, as I got stuck on the 6th floor of our hotel. With the lift not responding, and no normal staircase, it took me too long to work out how to use the fire escape stairwell to get down. I missed the boat!

So I skipped the visit to Kinderdijk. I had cycled there from Rotterdam with friends nearly 20 years ago. No doubt the windmills hadn't changed much in the interim.

I took a train to Gouda, and walked around a bit before catching the bus to Schoonhoven to meet the boat party. Schoonhoven is well known as a silversmithing centre in the Netherlands. Arriving an hour before the boat,

I had already worked out the galleries I wished to visit. One was in this watertower:

It also houses workshops for 4 silversmiths. It was an inspiring place to visit.

Next I went to Studio 925 which Willem Tredgett had recommended. Unfortunately the exhibion of jugs he had taken part in, had finished at the beginning of the week. I did see a few that had been sold, and were waiting to be picked up.

We then visited the silversmithing and clock museum, where Henk de Leeuw den Bouter gave a demonstration of silversmithing techniques.

Enough of our trip now, as the sun has come out, I think I have a voice, and I need to do more in the garden!

Labels: ,


Blogger Lucy said...

The trip sounds very interesting. I hope you enjoyed the fiber swap (and your package). Sorry about the lack of 'stuff' with it - hopefully I chose the right fibers for you! I'll still be reading the blog....

10:46 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home