Geertjan's Blog

  • April 24, 2009

Meeting the Gurus of Pottery and Jazz

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
The best thing (almost even better than introducing new students to the NetBeans Platform!) about Toni & my trip to Amsterdam was the cultural exchange that took place between us. That's a roundabout way of saying that Toni introduced me to the world of pottery, while I introduced him to the world of jazz.

Well, all of this is thanks to the Principles of Harold Carr. For all I know there's only one of these, but the principle, when it was passed to me, had the air of being part of a collection, rather than a singleton. Nevertheless, when Harold Carr was in Prague some years ago, he told me that whenever he is in a new city, he visits its jazz clubs. Coupled with the fact that when he shared this principle with me, we were in the middle of an amazing conversation in (what turned out to be) the best jazz club in Prague, I took it upon myself to adopt his principle as my own. (In my case, definitely a singleton.)

So, back to Toni and me in Amsterdam. I suggested going to a jazz club and he came up with "Bimhuis" from his tour book. So that's where we went, without any expectation whatsoever. We eventually found it and it was actually nearing the end of the performance. There was a really great band (seriously, much better than anything I've heard in Prague) and the club itself was amazing (very large windows with trains moving about silently in the background). But the best part was when a guest musician, Hermine Deurloo, walked on the stage and starting playing her harmonica. It was amazing. Jazz on a mouth organ, in the middle of that wonderful band.

Here's a pic Toni took:

And then, after the concert, while we were hanging out at the bar at the club, we got into a conversation with Hermine (remember, the star of the whole show) herself! For hours! It was great and then she invited us to her next concert, which was the next day in a very nice little place in Amsterdam that I would otherwise never (seriously, never) have come across myself, Kapitein Zeppos. Toni and I must have spent several hours there... and here's a photo (again, really cool pic by Toni, with all the interesting aura-like coloring):

Afterwards, Toni, Hermine, and I more or less ended up getting thrown out of Zeppos and then decided to look for another bar (which was funnily easy, since it ended up being right next door to the one we had just exited) and then spent hours more talking (or so it felt at least, not least thanks to what must have been MANY iterations through Collection<RedWine>), during which time we decided that Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller are both completely hateable. (Seriously, hard to not admit that to yourself, come on, be honest.)

In exchange for all that, I got a great introduction to pottery from Toni (who is a crazy pottery fanatic, one of those with pottery stacked everywhere in his house and even under his bed... just kidding... only everywhere in his kitchen). Completely unexpectedly his personal pottery hero was in Amsterdam (well, considering that we looked up each and every pottery place in the whole of Amsterdam, it would have been hard to miss this guy if he was anywhere in Amsterdam). Job Heykamp was in the Spui, selling his pottery, and there was someone else there who also had amazing pottery stuff. I ended up buying a lot of Job's stuff and here's a pic (inc. brand new leather laptop bag bought from Waterlooplein on the same trip):

Here (a pic from Job's website) is one of the things I bought from him (or something that looks very similar to my untrained eye):

In the world of pottery, I don't know anything that is closer to jazz than the above. (OK, my knowledge of the world of pottery is clearly not necessarily large [few people have attested their ignorance in this field {or any other field} more explicitly than I have in this blog entry], but let's just skip that fact.)

Now the two dilemmas I am left with are: (1) now that I have the best pottery in the world, is it disrespectful to put my paperclips into it and (2) now that I have heard the best jazz harmonica playing in the world, will I ever be able to enjoy jazz again?

Join the discussion

Comments ( 7 )
  • Derek Friday, April 24, 2009

    Adam Sandler being completely hatable? Yep, I concur on that one. LOL

  • Hermine Deurloo Friday, April 24, 2009

    Maybe you can put the paperclips into the harmonica so both pottery and jazz are left in Peace.

  • Hermine Deurloo Friday, April 24, 2009

    Wat schrijf jij trouwens ontzettend goed en ook nog grappig.

  • Varun Nischal Friday, April 24, 2009


    Being off-topic, I am looking forward to next podcast;



  • Harold Carr Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Check out http://www.hopperjazz.org/ in Antwerp.

    That's where I heard http://www.dimitarbodurov.com/ and his trio - incredible!

  • Harold Carr Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Hmm, seems the hopperjazz.org link no longer works. Try this one: http://www.cafehopper.be/

  • john bauer Saturday, July 11, 2009

    you would have to vissit cape town for the best pottery in the world . we have a very high consentration of brilliant potters here.

    Also good jazz.

Please enter your name.Please provide a valid email address.Please enter a comment.CAPTCHA challenge response provided was incorrect. Please try again.