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ElgaKoster

Amsterdam

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ElgaKoster

Instead of flying direct to the US when I go to Guild School I like to fly through Amsterdam in The Netherlands, a city I have only seen a fraction off, a city that some of you call home. One of the things that I like to do in a city that is foreign to me is too just walk in the streets and gaze in wonder at all the buildings that is so different from those in my own country.

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One other thing I love to do is shop for unusual things that I can't find back home, there are two fabric shops in Amsterdam that sells the most beautiful fabric that I haven't seen here, a miniaturist can never have too much fabric...right...especially if you do soft coverings and/or dolls. The first shop specializes in silk, they have wonderful fabrics and is a must stop for all fabric lovers, here is a photo of some of my loot in 2012 and the link to the shop. http://www.puresilk.nl/company.html

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The second shop sells beautiful quilting fabrics, many that are unusual and with fine enough designs for miniatures, they also sell reproduction fabrics of antique Dutch quilts, unfortunately not really suitable for miniatures but oh so beautiful.

http://www.dutchquilts.net/EN_index_.html

Luckily for me the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam reopened after many years of renovation just a few weeks before my visit in 2013, I only saw a fraction of this museum and definitely plan to visit it again, there are so much to see here and lots of inspiration for miniatures. I love blue and white porcelain and would love to have a mini of the birdcage in this photo.

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There are a few house museums in Amsterdam too, my good friend Josje Veneenbos took me to this one.

http://www.cromhouthuizen.nl/en

Here are two photos of the interior, I loved the carved door and was quite intrigued by the way they build the staircase right in front of the window. When I go again I plan on seeing more of the house museums.

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Debora Beijerbacht

It's pleasing to see my home town up here. And you're timing was just right, with the Rijks Museum opening after a refurb that took over ten years (!). But I'm thinned you liked it and welcome you back any day! 

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Wm. R. Robertson

I was there last July and I just loved it. The only way to see and enjoy a museum like the Rijks Museum is to spend a day there, take a day off and then go back another day to see what you really want to study…… and that is just what I did. Wouldn't it be fun to let a group of miniaturists explore a place like that and all go to dinner, can you imagine the conversations? "I want to make this" "Oh did you see this…." and this would go on for hours with fine food and wine.

 

Anyway I just loved that they put the bike route back through the museum (they had they would close this but the paying public didn't think so)…. it is so cool, you can just cycle right the building and of course most of the time a musician is playing some wonderful tune…...

 

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Ah but of what is inside the Museum…… more than you can imagine or could copy in miniature in a thousand lifetimes……. one of my dozens of favorites was this Apothecary Cabinet.

 

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Kind of miniature in it's own right….

 

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ElgaKoster

Yes do built it Bill, I also got stuck in front of it, one of my friends were lucky enough to attend a seminar at the museum where they showed them all the secret compartments in the cabinet and how it all fits together, this is really a wonderful piece.

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Wm. R. Robertson

If I were to build it I would have to fly over and go to such a seminar..... That would be fun. I wonder if there is a video out there on it?

It would take years to make I think.

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Josje Veenenbos

I was the one who attended the lecture on the 'Simpliciakast' last year Bill.  It was very interesting and fun.  The small central alcove or niche can be taken out after which, with the help of a hidden pulley system,  the entire centre section of the cabinet lifts up to reveal a set of secret drawers.  These drawers are all compartmentalized using the most beautiful designs to hold all manner of stones, animal and vegetable specimens.  It still has the original 92 Delft faience pots, 148 glass bottles and 61 wooden barrels, almost all of which still have the original content in them.  One of the specimen, I think it was uranium or radium, has been taken out of the cabinet and put into a huge lead box and put into storage.  The bottom of the cabinet holds a writing slope and yet more drawers.

 

The conservator-restorer who gave the lecture said a small book about the cabinet would be published around July of last year.  Unfortunately I have not seen it or read about its publication. Also I don't think there are any video's on it. 

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

Can we put petitpoint on the miniature one?  Ok Seriously, this is pretty impressive cabinet!  What kind of wood is this?  Is the piece veneered?

 

Elga, that is a great door!  and I also like the worn (unfinished?) knotted floors... Did you get the measurement of the height of the door?  Have a friend take a photo of you, next to the door, and you can extrapolate the measurements. 

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SueV

That cabinet is incredible. Holy smoke.

 

Elga, your pictures are wonderful! The only time I got to Europe was to France in the late 80s - wandering around Paris

with all its wonderful buildings was such a great experience. As we lived in Virginia Beach at the time, with the most boring

architecture, it really was a feast for my eyes!

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Bill Hudson

Love that door Elga. Sadly I have never made it to any European country in my travels. Have always dreamed of going.

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