October 4, 2023


Immerse yourself in the blue hues of the past…

2 min read

Dutch faience wall tiles were hugely popular across Europe for almost three centuries. Painted with cobalt and manganese patterns, the white ceramic squares decorated the interiors of ordinary Dutch homes and wealthy European castles and palaces. They also made their way to Żuławy in the 18th century, and although few have survived, they are now the main inspiration for Beata Grudziecka’s daily craft. For eight years, her professional activity and interests have been focused on ceramics related to where she lives and works.

The Ceramika Malborska studio produces contemporary ceramic tiles inspired by the original tiles found mainly in the arcaded houses of Żuławy. However, they are not replicas but instead inspired by the pattern. The tiles are handmade using old methods and painted with cobalt and manganese oxides.

However, these tiles are not just handmade. It is a work supported by the artist’s wealth of factual and historical knowledge. In addition to her handicraft work, she is also involved in popularising Dutch tiles in Poland. 

As a “Mistress of Tradition”, she has twice held one- and two-year workshops as part of the “Folk and Traditional Culture” program. Her work to promote Dutch tiles in the Żuławy region was also recognized, and she was awarded a scholarship for cultural creators by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland, and a scholarship from the Marshal of the Pomorskie Voivodeship. Since 2021, Beata Grudziecka has also been a cultural ambassador for Pomerania. 

These notable awards and acknowledgments are the fruits of her hard work to get to where she is today. For several years now, the artist has traveled to the Netherlands at least once a year for a few days to see Dutch culture up close, visit tile-related places and learn from local artists. As a result, she attended workshops at the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles, the oldest and still operating faience factory in Delft, and a master class in Delft blue painting at the Heinen Delfts Blauw in Putten. In March 2018, she fulfilled one of her “tile dreams” – she attended the 365th-anniversary celebrations of the manufactory Royal Delft. To celebrate its 356th anniversary, one person painted a small tile on each day of the year, which became part of the anniversary panel. The artist painted the Zulawy willow tree on her tile. Completed on 31 January 2018, the panel is displayed in the manufactory interior.

Beata Grudziecka’s work also includes Dutch-inspired plates, bowls, and other vessels that combine past and present.  One of the most recognizable patterns on her ceramics are willows, painted with cobalt oxide on a white background. Each ceramic piece she makes is a story of how to draw on the blue hues of the past.

05.06.2023 Stockholm

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