Just through the publicity, and even before Bea Peters participated in the twelfth edition of Designday with her hand-painted decorative tiles, the art director of studio 1000graden was approached by Van der Valk Hotel Heerlen. For them she produced a huge tile panel for the life cooking section of the newly opened hotel.
It was her dream to realize something like Irma Boom has done with her 77.730 hand-painted tile artwork in the bicycle tunnel under the Amsterdam Central Station. Bea Peters’ assignment for the new Van der Valkhotel Heerlen is a little bit more modest, but it comes quite close: she made a tableau on a tile wall of fourteen meters wide by two meters high.
The painter and illustrator was approached by Ineke Roosen, the interior and graphic designer of the hotel. She had long been looking for someone who could do what Peters does. And than Roosen saw her work, which was posted on the website and the Facebook page of Designday, last year in May. Roosen immediately knew: “This is what we want.”
‘It’s a big assignment, similar to for example the one for Hotel New York’, says Peters about the painted tile wall for the life cooking section of the hotel restaurant, a place where is stir fried, grilled and baked. The paintings on the wall must correspond to the section where vegetables or meat and fish are prepared. Thus she draw by hand a number of huge eyecatchers: an artichoke, a ham on a hook, a lobster and a smiling cow on laying tiles. ‘Today there is more demand for these form; before I used to paint on the square “Dutch whites”,’ Peters says. In addition to the traditional archetypes, she featured an olive branch and a pineapple with a great titmouse on the crown. Each design is tailored to the wishes of the client. She always makes unica in her studio with shop, showroom, shop window and boiler room in Haarlem. She prefers contemporary interpretations of traditional Mediterranean designs like vegetables, octopuses and hams, but her portfolio evolves; she also paints many abstract patterns today.
The job for Van der Valk in Heerlen proved to be a complex process where the placement and the alternation between large and small drawings are complicated, because the tiles are linked in a stretching bond. It also meant sketching for days, mixing color pigments and applying the drawings one by one on the glaze with a brush. ‘Especially the big inflated pineapple was a nice challenge’, says Peters, ‘in which I intuitively mixed the correct colors. I also felt very good about how all the fruit parts slide over one another. I have drawn all the hexagons and flared angles with my tongue hanging out of my mouth.’
Then the baking process follows in her historic vaulted cellar, a place where pottery bakers worked back in the 15th century. In the largest oven, Peters bakes a large number of tiles simultaneously in tile cassettes at a thousand degrees and within 24 hours.
Eventually, the client received a package of numbered ceramic tiles and a floor plan. Together with the tiler, the tableau was laid as a giant puzzle. Everyone is excited about the result, says the art director. Moreover, the restaurant is packed almost every day of the year, which means that many people see the tile tableau of studio 1000graden. Besides the attention of Designday, you can hardly imagine better advertising.
© Inga Powilleit