The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


Pottery painting is done on white, unglazed earthenware. A pottery painter paints the decorations on the earthenware, by hand. The Dutch word for this type of earthenware is plateel. The word derives from the Old French platel, meaning flat dish. The famous blue Delftware as well as the sturdy pottery from Makkum and the colourful Gouds plateel, all come under this header. Before the pottery painter can begin applying the paint, the clay is baked once. For series production the patterns are applied on the single baked bisque earthenware with a ponsief, a piece of tracing paper in which the pattern is punched out with a needle. By rubbing the ponsief with a bag of charcoal powder, the image is transferred. Now the image can be filled in with paint. When the painting is ready, the earthenware is covered with a layer of transparent glaze, after which it is baked for a second time on 1040 degrees Celsius.



There are still a few pottery painters in Gouda and the painters from the former potteries who are still alive, have a lot of knowledge. Trudy Otterspeer was trained as an apprentice-pottery painter at Zenith Pottery in Gouda. Her studio is called ‘Ambachtelijk Plateel’ (Artisanal Pottery) and she gives courses and workshops in pottery painting. The Gouda Foundation for the Promotion of Professional Training has a professional training centre for ceramics, where the pottery painting course is still offered.



As of the seventeenth century the word plateel has been used to dinstinguish from China porcelain. At the time domestic earthenware was produced as well in Gouda. In 1898 the pottery Zuid-Holland was established in Gouda. This factory made ornamental earthenware of liquid casting clay, following the example from factories in Purmerend, Utrecht and The Hague. Around 1900 Gouda developed its own technique and style, called Gouds plateel. The colour of the casting clay was usually white but could also be red or green by added pigments. Gouds plateel was enormously popular in the first decades of the twentieth century, but after a strike and the crisis this popularity came to an end. During and directly after the war only domestic earthenware was made. A short heyday of ornamental earthenware followed, which lasted until the middle of the sixties. Now there are only a few factories left in the Netherlands where plateel is made. They mostly combine the handicraft with transfers (screen printing). Besides that, some independent pottery painters are still active.



Ambachtelijk Plateel
Hoge Gouwe 51
2801 LB