Growing up in Delft, The Netherlands, I was surrounded by Delftware since I can remember, only to realize later that 'Delft Blue' was inspired by Chinese Porcelain, which the Dutch admired and imported during their Golden Age of exploration, beginning around 1600.
Within this period, the Dutch also established a base of trade in the United States. Centuries later, an American writer, Mary Mapes Dodge, wrote the book 'Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates', which features a little Dutch boy who saves his country from flooding by putting his finger in a leaking dike.
Most people in the Netherlands don't know that this appropriation of their culture - 'Holland Mania' - played a role in the search for a certain American authenticity at a time of anti-immigrant anxiety.
Today, as a Dutch immigrant in New York myself, I continue to encounter unexpected historical layers formed within overlapping cultural identities.
The vases serve as a vessel for retelling that story, a tribute to the fluidity with which our cultures interact and influence each other, in light of a new era of global exploration and intercultural curiosity.
Little Dutch Hero
Porcelain with Sillicone plug