Over the last weeks I often felt like a traveling circus. Performing in another town each week. Very busy, but also very cool. A wide range of events with the most interesting variety people; vikings, bookbinders, medieval re-enactors, woodworkers, guitar makers, etc.
We started at the Year market of Hernen Castle, an annual gathering of re-enactors from all over the Netherlands. A lot of them craftsmen and -women. The best part about Hernen is that we get a chance to meet and catch up with friends. Exchange ideas, jokes, materials and information.
The next weeks have been a frenzy of different events, historical and contemporary.
Like “Zotte Zaterdag” (Silly Saturday) in Gouda. In remembrance of the great Desiderius Erasmus – who was born in this city – and his book”Praise of Folly“.
We stood there next to the bookbinders of Hernen; The Paper Unicorn. Astrid was demonstrating a very cool device to cut the page blocks of books prior to adding the cover.
And one of the things that interested me a lot: the Indulgence-seller. A man who sold people indulgences to keep their souls from purgatory.
He also brought a variety of relics; from a feather of the arch angel Gabriel, to tears of the virgin Mary, straw from the christmas crib, and even a beam of light from the star of Bethlehem…
At Open Monuments Day I worked at the rose of Punto’s theorbo, in Gouda I started cutting the rose of the Sellas for Jannemieke. She even walked by for a visit.
The next day I was invited to attend the “Open Day of Wood” in Zutphen. An event organized by a the Dutch “Woodworking.nl” forum.
A beautiful event that shows all different varieties of woodworking. Carving, bending, boat building, tools, etc.
The group of “Bouwerskontakt” was also there, showing instruments and their courses. A very nice thing to see was this “DaVinci” organetto. Based on Leonardo’s notebooks.
Guitarist, Luthier and Artist Arnaldo Lopez even tried the Strad for a moment. He is a great guitarist, but never held a baroque guitar before. I have never seen anybody adjusting so fast to the double stringing of a baroque guitar.
A week later there was the Viking Day of the “Huis van Hilde” in Castricum. Completely different. Met a group of very passionate vikings.
The most interesting guitar event of the Netherlands is the “Gitaarbouwersmeeting”.
A couple of hundred guitarists and -makers from the Netherlands and Belgium gather in a party location to buy new woods and hardware, see each others work and (most importantly!) share…
A day of woods, guitars, lectures, and meeting other makers. At the end of the day I delivered the Stradivari lecture.
At Hernen our neighbors of the Paper Unicorn suggested that we should bring the Minion Press to the Book-Art-Fair in Leiden. They are regulars there and thought it would fit right in.
Well, it did…
When we looked at the place, it became clear that the press was planned to stand the absolute center of the old St. Peter’s Church. The top of the choir, where the altar used to be… A friend suggested this was rather symbolic for the triumph of free press over religion…
Two fantastic days. Again, completely different from events before. The people I met all had a great love for books, reading and everything involved. Great tips and questions from professional printers and book makers.
And some great help… Astrid and Niek’s son Roeland assisted the whole weekend as a printers apprentice. He knows better how the press operates than I do. Perhaps next year he can even ink the plates (now it was impossible without also inking his sleeves).
All in all a couple of very intense, but also very inspirational months. Meeting and working with the most unique and diverse people. Old and new friends.
Sandra and I are now taking some winter recess, time for some rest, reflection and mending our reenactment materials. But the first events of next year are already on the agenda… Hope to meet you at one of them…