Sunday, February 5, 2012


By Arthur of Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics

A few weeks ago I went to the MFA with a few friends of mine and I got really inspired by the piece pictured above. What you see there is called a tulipiere, they were very popular in the 17th century in Europe as pieces that people had in their homes to display their (you guessed it) tulips! I have wanted to make one of these since I saw my first historical one at the Victoria & Albert Museum two years ago in London.

This is the beauty I saw, it literally brought me to tears! I'm such a clay dork I know!! It's such a feat of engineering because the tall piece is make in porcelain, and if you have ever tried to make anything in porcelain you know first hand how finicky porcelain can be. The tulipiere stands about 6ft tall, and each one of those levels comes off in a section. Quite the undertaking for someone like me that has not a huge studio to make this in, I'm not planning on making a 6ft one but you get the idea.

I am starting to think of applying to grad school in the near future and I know that if I made a piece like this, that would with out a question in my mind get me into grad school! This piece has been in my dreams since I first saw it, and when I went back to London this past fall and saw the piece again it was like a religious experience. I wanted to share a few contemporary examples of tulipieres:


  1. i love these, making one has been on my to-do list for years.

  2. Amazing. I was teary at the V & A myself, so much beauty and artistry was overwhelming!

    Would love to see both of your versions of a tulipiere, Boston Handmade clay team!


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