Hindeloopen Metropolis

Creative innovation keeps tradition alive

Over the years, Hindeloopen has evolved from an important trading and fishing town on the shores of the Zuiderzee into a full-fledged tourist magnet. The singularity of this metropolis remains a constant source of inspiration for artists and artisans alike. By continuously mixing, matching and innovating, the tradition and identity of Hindeloopen remains very much alive. A town which is certainly worth the effort of (re)discovering.

Traditional Hindeloopen costumes: inspiration for modern designers

In the 17th century, Hindeloopen women regularly sailed across the Zuiderzee on what was essentially in those days a ferry to Amsterdam, to collect their husbands or wave them goodbye. There, they discovered the exotic treasures being imported by the Associated East India Company. They were particularly willing to spend their hard earned money on the beautifully decorated cotton fabrics, chintz and furs. On arriving home in Hindeloopen, they would include the fabrics in their own traditional costumes. Flowers and checks became combined, resulting in a very colourful whole. These are the stories and techniques that still inspire modern-day designers. A world-famous example is the coat and its matching wooden clogs by the design duo, Victor & Rolf.

“By continuing to mix, match and innovate, the craft and identity of Hindeloopen remains alive.”

New dimension for the Hindeloopen style thanks to 'Oak Inside'

A particularly special collection of furniture has been born from the cooperation between designer Christien Meindertsma and the Roosje Hindeloopen studio. This design range named 'Oak Inside' offers modern interpretation but has its roots in the 400-year-old Hindeloopen tradition. After having deciphered the history of the Hindeloopen furniture, Meindertsma opted to once again make use of oak. This was the wood traditionally used until taxes became levied on its ownership. She discovered that oak turns dark blue as soon as it comes into contact with iron. This natural way of colouring the wood is applied in the 'Oak Inside' furniture collection, with modern designs based on age-old paintings. A number of pieces can be admired in the Roosje Hindeloopen shop at Nieuwstad 44.

Hindeloopen craftsmanship in an international art project

The Roosje Hindeloopen Studio also plays a role in an international art project by artist Éric Van Hove from Morocco: ‘the Fryske Motor’. In Morocco, the Stallman brothers of Roosje Hindeloopen worked on a reproduction of the engine of a combine harvester, a popular piece of agricultural machinery in the Friesian countryside. The engine was created from a wide range of materials together with other international artisans; from Moroccan woodcarving to Swedish glass, along with Indonesian carvings and Hindeloopen paintwork. During the creative days in the Friesian Museum in Leeuwarden on 28 and 29 September, all the artists will jointly add the finishing touches to the Friesian engine. These days are open to visitors, and the piece of art will afterwards be added to the 'Fenduq' exhibition in the Friesian Museum.

“cultures have always influenced each other over the centuries, but you need not lose sight of your own background.”

Flora and Fauna Fountain: mix of China and Hindeloopen

At the Nieuweweg in Hindeloopen, you'll find the Flora and Fauna Fountain by designer Shen Yuan. The fountain was inspired by the tree of life on the city coat of arms, embraced by the buck and doe. The tree symbolises life energy, but also depicts wisdom. The buck and doe are feeding from the tree. Beautiful exotic birds sit in the tree. Sitting on the large wooden antlers that surround the tree, you can see them 'talking' to each other as they spew water. In her work, Shen Yuan proves that cultures have always influenced each other over the centuries, but also that you need not lose sight of your own background. Everywhere, there are traces of traditional Chinese art combined with impressive professional craftsmanship. This all fits seamlessly in the very individual yet open culture in Hindeloopen.

Museum Hindeloopen

Exhibition: Chintz A worldly product in Hindeloopen

until 31 October 2019

Museum Hindeloopen bestaat 100 jaar en viert dit met deze grote tentoonstelling. De tentoonstelling laat zien hoe een importproduct in korte tijd populair wordt. Van exotisch, nieuw en duidelijk ‘buitenlands’ wordt de sitsen stof een onderdeel van de eigen identiteit. Van ‘exotisch’ naar ‘typisch Hindeloopen’!


Friesian Museum

Exhibition: Éric van Hove - Fenduq

until 5 January 2020

The exhibition by Éric Van Hove: Fenduq in the Friesian Museum in Leeuwarden shows what human hands can create. It is all about the re-evaluation of local, traditional craftsmanship and about technological innovation. At the same time, it encourages us to think about global issues, such as the economic consequences of industrialisation, immigration, identity and the distribution of wealth.


Want to have a go?
Learn Hindeloopen painting

Get inspired by the Hindeloopen style of painting during a 90-minute workshop at the Bootsma studio.