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The efforts it costs to get a cost price

Next to exploring stories about cultural similarities or differences in the multicultural Holland, finding out about the design – and the production process for it – has been challenging. One of the main purposes of this project is that the production of this souvenir stays in the Netherlands. This is a challenge, taking into account that – between other costs- the labor costs in the Netherlands are among the 10 highest in the EU. As a consequence, production costs become very high. This has pushed me to explore many possibilities. From giving the production to a unique producer, to outsourcing different production phases to different producers to even studying the possibility to set up my own atelier. This last option could even match the costs of outsourcing the production to other companies. Ok…. this last option would be too pretentious. I don’t have, nor would I be able to gain, the expertise or lifelong experience that Delft Blue producers have.

I fully respect the work and pricing offered by the various companies I’ve visited. So far however, the pricing has conflicted with my ambitions of offering a “Made in Holland” quality design product at a competitive price with similar souvenir products.

An option that I have been exploring is the mix between new and traditional technology. I’ve been trying to find out if and how 3D printing and CNC milling could help to lower production costs and would result in the desired product.

I’ve consulted a few interesting companies in this area which have been thinking along with me about different possibilities for the production of the ‘To Kiss or Not to Kiss’ souvenir. Some of these companies are:

Montagne Aardewerkfabriek: They are an all-round pottery factory, manufacturing Delft blue as well as modern pottery. They also work by order and are very open to new ideas. Remco, the owner of the company, has supported this project since the start with his knowledge and expertise.

Cre8: CRE8 is a 3D printing social venture. I couldn’t describe it better than they do: ”…we want to be meaningful for everyone in the community; not only for clients and consumers, but also by focusing on the talents and effort of less visible groups within society, specifically disadvantaged youngsters.”

Print3D Matter: They name themselves “the navy seals of the making world”. They are knowledgeable and react fast to inquiries.

Dutch Molds: A company with a lot of experience on making molds. They make many types of molds and organize courses too.

Arnhems Keramiekatelier: Ceramic workshop in the city of Arnhem. Esther van Groeningen is the owner and is designer of the collection which you can buy directly in their web-shop.

I don’t have any concrete answers yet at this moment. Everything is still quite exploratory. So keep on following and collaborate with your suggestions. I will be grateful for it!

Photo by Jokaland Inspirations: Delft Blue Artisan at Montagne Aardewerkfabriek