The Gouda Pottery Book by Ron Tasman

The inside story - Part 1


On the following pages we bring you a peek inside Ron Tasman's magnificent books.

Born out of passion - of dedication - the ardent fervour of a man whose enthusiasm for Gouda pottery has produced a joy to read not only for Gouda enthusiasts but for all pottery lovers and pottery historians alike. Not forgetting the tremendous hard work by senior editor Friggo Visser, together with members of the Van der Want family and from all over the world - the many contributions of collectors and their pictures and memories of the pottery workers themselves - this is a masterpiece.


"Making a selection of pages which showcase the level of detail in the GPB has been rather difficult. There are after all over 1200 pages to choose from. The book itself covers so many potteries throughout the Netherlands that it could have been possible to highlight pages from firms such as Amphora in Oegstgeest, De Distel in Amsterdam or the St. Lukas pottery in Utrecht. It could also have been possible to focus on the chapters concerning Gouda tobacco pipes (and their marks) or the biographies of around 180 designers and leading decorators. But, seeing as this site is largely dedicated to Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs in the ‘Gouda’ style the selection has been limited to a number of pages from firms well known for this beautiful work." Ron Tasman - July 2007.


Gouda’s Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (South Holland Pottery works) set out to make earthenware in which the hand of the decorator was plainly visible. Having begun in 1898, and in the absence of a copyright law, the firm set out to make their own versions of the best plateel (faience) available at the time. Their early styles reflected the origin of the firm’s designers - namely The Rozenburg works in The Hague, De Distel in Amsterdam and Brantjes and Haga in Purmerend.

The early days at the Zuid-Holland works were days of real innovation when the decorators were still able to exercise their personal style and the painters of unsigned pieces can often be identified by the manner in which the work has been painted. On most days the decorators were a formal group which makes the accompanying photograph all the more unusual.

Henri Breetvelt was the king of the decorators at PZH. His décors were unique and formed the basis of many later patterns which went into regular production although in a slightly simplified form. After his death in 1923, his colourful designs continued to be painted by a small team of elite decorators under the name of ‘Décor Breetvelt.’

The Gouda Pottery Book some of the early reviews. We would love to hear from you too!

"Sensational. CONGRATULATIONS! It has become a beautiful and almost all embracing bible of Dutch ceramics and with its previously unpublished material, will be particularly alluring for the international market. I’m amazed!"
Benno Steenaert - Arnhem.

"Three such enormous books reflect that this is indeed the author’s life work. Discipline, inquisitive, hard working and systematic are just a few words which describe his approach to the ‘Golden Pottery Book.’"
Ger de Ree - Dutch TV personality and ceramics expert.

"I can see that I shall spend many hours enjoying the GPB. You must be very happy with the book and proud too. Thank you!"
Arlene V.d.W. - California.


Pictures, text and any other are all copyright ©Gouda-Design, ©Ron Tasman, ©Friggo Visser, ©Uitgeverij Optima & all other copyright indicated in The Gouda Pottery Book as copyright ©


The Gouda Pottery Book informationThe inside story Page 2