Last week I visited the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden to get a special tour by the curator of the textile department Gieneke Arnolli.
This visit was part of the Textiel Factorij project, which is a cultural-historical project, about the mutual heritage between India and the Netherlands. During the Golden Age, there was a flourishing trade between the two countries and they influenced each other in various ways, such as the incorporation of chintz in traditional Dutch costumes. Together with Indian and Dutch artists, designers and Indian artisans this project aims to develop contemporary heritage products.
In the museum we had a look at the use of fabrics from India in traditional Dutch ‘klederdracht’ which date back as far as the 17th century.
For this project I’m working together with Gunjan Singh to develop a collection of products, not only focusing on the skills of the craftspeople for making the textiles, but by creating interior products made from textile and wood showing the woodworking skills of the blockmakers as well.
Our specific focus is on combining the traditional crafts with digital fabrication methods, showing they can co-exist within one collection of products and to demonstrate that the value of the craft is not diminished by the development of the technique, but they each have their own value.