by guest contributor Jessica Van Den
Ahh, Amsterdam. City of many reputations, and the capital of the progressive Netherlands. My father is Dutch, so as a child I heard a few stories of the old country (not that he ever called it that, Dad is not exactly the nostalgic type) and I am very familiar with the peculiar Dutch accent as spoken by my Oma.
I grew up with the typical ye-olde ideas of clogs, windmills and tulips in my head (and may I add, tulips are–to this day–my absolute favourite flower… maybe its a genetic thing?). However, the Netherlands of today– and particularly Amsterdam–has a somewhat different, slightly risqué reputation. It is no surprise then, that it is a font of creative talent of every description. Let’s go meet some of the creatives who call Amsterdam home.
Laura Amiss is originally from the north of England, but for the last 7 years she has called Amsterdam home. Having graduated from Goldsmiths College at the University of London, majoring in textiles, Laura moved to Amsterdam to work in the costume department of the National Ballet and Opera. She is now a freelance artist designer.
Lorena Martinez-Neustadt is another who has come to call Amsterdam home, after growing up in Mexico. She is an industrial designer and jeweler, and her design background comes through strongly in her work–a combination of feminine curves and sharply defined structural elements.
Pia Barile is a full-time crafter, working with both textiles and jewellery. Many of her designs–like the one featured–are made from recycled wool and other fabrics.
Spectacle a la Maison is another designer who works primarily with recycled materials. She takes a combination of vintage, scrap, and otherwise rescued fabrics and uses them to make her bright, colorful wares, including bags and cuffs.
How could I write about the Netherlands and not include some delft porcelain? This lovely heart is the work of Harriet Damave, and in her shop you will also find cute kitties, angels, lambs, tulips, and much more.
About the contributor: Jessica Van Den is crafter, entrepreneur, and advocate for handmade goods and crafty micro-business. She creates sleek, modern, eco-friendly sterling silver jewellery (Epheriell.com), as well as editing two blogs (Epheriell Designs & Crafting a Business) and a zine (*bespoke*) that support, inspire and nourish the handmade community.