12 Countries Spotlight in Holland : Harriet Damave

While in Amsterdam, I had the pleasure of meeting illustrator and ceramic artist Harriet Damave. As we sipped fresh mint tea in her home studio, Harriet showed me the intricate process of how she creates her lovely hand-painted ceramic artwork using white porcelain and the traditional Dutch Delft technique with cobalt blue pigments to create modern, whimsical, illustrative pendants, jewelry, and ornaments.

First, Harriet rolls out the white porcelain clay quite thinly

and creates the basic shapes for her work using tins and cookie cutters.

After the clay dries it is placed in the kiln

where the clay is fired and is the ready to paint.

Now the real fun begins! 

Harriet is trained as a professional illustrator, and she paints gorgeous, intricate unique patterns and details onto each ceramic piece. The way she works with cobalt oxide pigment is almost like using watercolor pigments, and it is a powdery gray color before being fired again in the kiln - when it turns into the deep cobalt blue that is traditional for Dutch Delft ceramic art. 

This group shows the contrast between the gray painted pieces - not yet fired in the kiln - and the brilliant blue and white pieces that are fired a second time at 1260° Celsius or 2300° Fahrenheit then coated with a transparent glaze and fired once again.

I was very impressed by Harriet's dedication to her art and the huge amount of time and thought that goes into each individual piece!

She creates a wide variety of pieces, some featuring Dutch canal houses

which bring back wonderful memories of strolling around Amsterdam.

She also paints romantic hearts

sweet angels

fanciful butterflies

playful tea pots

unique Christmas ornaments (not too early to shop for next year!)

adorable rabbits

intelligent elephants

wise owls

leaping cats

in an amazing variety of styles - as brooches, rings, and pendants. 
Be sure to visit Harriet's shop to see her full collection. 

These make perfect one of a kind handmade gifts for someone who is a collector!

Harriet packages everything personally with love

and I can tell you that Harriet is a lovely, fun, and generous person too!

Thank you Harriet for taking the time to drink tea and show me your Amsterdam studio, it was a real treat! I wish you all the best with your many artistic and creative projects and Happy New Year!