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Marius en Hugo van Woerden - present and past

Marius van Woerden still lives in Canada, which makes verbal contact difficult. Hugo van Woerden, however, lives in the Netherlands and is still working in the company of his children. I have visited him a number of times.

In our youth we lived close to each other and could therefore collectively sharing memories from our youth.
Below are short fragments of our conversations, I can remember.

  Hugo van Woerden - first visit to the factory in Nieuwkoop February 2017 top

Hugo van Woerden fabriek Nieuwkoop 2019
Pottery Direct is a company of the children of Hugo. The company is an international wholesaler in flower pots. In 2016 they took over the bankrupt factory Gemovers in Nieuwkoop. As a result, they could produce a portion of the pots that they sold themselves.

Hugo van Woerden fabriek Nieuwkoop 2019
Hugo is still working in the factory. He had a room with all kinds of minerals in which he experimented with new glazes. These glazes were tested on test pots that were not completely glazed. On the right an example.

At Vest the glazes were often unpredictable. A nice extra for a collector.

Today companies that bought the pots want the pots to be all the same. A new model pot had to be reproducible in terms of shape and glaze.

  Hugo van Woerden - second visit to the factory in Nieuwkoop 2019 top

Hugo van Woerden fabriek Nieuwkoop 2019
The new Pottery Direct factory in Nieuwkoop is completely automated. At the invitation of Hugo we went looking. At the reception it turned out that Hugo had some old Vest vases that I didn't have in my collection.
Hugo van Woerden fabriek Nieuwkoop 2019
Hugo is shown on the photos with an old bowl (BA5) and pot (BA1). Both from the van Woerden period.

The automated factory was very special. All kinds of robots were responsible for mixing the clay, forming and baking pots. Personnel were only needed for placing bags of clay powder and barrels with glazes. In the end, the complete pots were placed on a conveyor belt from which they were taken to pack them.

  Hugo van Woerden - visit showroom Ede July 2019 top

Hugo van Woerden pat  potje
There are also a number of old Vest vases in the showroom. The sons of Hugo occasionally buy something that they suspect is Vest.

An inconspicuous jar on the right is made specifically at the request of a meat trader. He wanted a nice jar for pate and ordered 100,000 of them. These were supplied by Marius and Hugo.

Hugo van Woerdenkindervoetjes
The photo on the left is a vase with the imprint of feet of one of the children of Hugo van Woerden.

Vest used in this period a smooth shiny white glaze.

  Marius and Hugo van Woerden - Canada - years 1984 - 1994 top

Castle-Ceramics-1b Castle-Ceramics-1a

Marius and Hugo started in 1984 a new pottery in Norwich (Canada) under the name Castle Ceramics.

The sticker showed a castle (just like the Vest sticker), two maple leaves (from the Canadian flag) and Made in Canada.

Brothers-Stoneware-3a Canada Brothers-Stoneware-1a Canada

Later other names were used for the ceramics, such as Brothers Stoneware CO. Canada.

Hugo still uses this tableware.

Brothers-Potteries-2a Canada

The name Brothers Potteries Canada was also used.

On the left is a flower pot from Brothers Potteries. Below are a jug (601) and bowl (630).

All three objects are still in Hugo's possession.

Brothers-Stoneware-3a Canada Brothers-Stoneware-1a Canada

  Hugo van Woerden and "De Steenuil" in Rijswijk (ZH) - late 50s and early 60s top

Marius and Hugo lived in the Herenstraat in Rijswijk (ZH). Their parents had a store with dairy products. The store was later expanded to become one of the first self-service stores in the Netherlands. The Geestbrugweg was an extension of Herenstraat. My father had a grocery store there, about 650 m from the van Woerden store.

Steenuil in Rijswijk Steenuil in Rijswijk Opposite van Woerden's shop was the pottery De Steenuil by Henk Goossen.
Hugo started his career in pottery at a young age. This was done by a cup of coffee. When he wanted to walk in at De Steenuil, he was told that this was only possible if he provided a cup of coffee. This was quickly arranged because across the street his mother was quite prepared to make coffee. Since then he has regularly visited the pottery, did odd jobs and also learned to turn and glazed vases.

Hugo was not long at the ULO (school). He started working at De Steenuil. Here you had to work hard because you only got paid if you had made enough vases.

Marius also made vases at De Steenuil. The vase right might have been made by Marius or Hugo.

  Marius van Woerden - cup from 2008 - Canada top

beker Marius van Woerden 2008
In 2008, Marius visited the Pottery by Donn Zver in Ontario. In this pottery 15 regional potters made 1000 cups for a good cause. The project was called the 1000 MUG-A-THON. Marius has made 100 of them. You received a cup after a $ 20 donation.

The cups are turned by hand and they are signed with "Marius". The cup on the right is 1 out of 100 made.

Source: Antique & Collectibles Trader : Marius van Woerden article

  Marius van Woerden - beker uit 2008 - Canada top

beker Marius van Woerden 2008
In 2008 bezocht Marius in Ontario de Pottery van Donn Zver. In deze pottenbakkerij maakten 15 regionale pottenbakkers 1000 bekers voor een goed doel. Het project heette de 1000 MUG-A-THON. Marius heeft er 100 gemaakt. Je kreeg een beker na donatie van $20.

De bekers zijn met de hand gedraaid en ze zijn gesigneerd met "Marius". De beker hiernaast is 1 van de 100 die er gemaakt zijn.

Antique & Collectibles Trader : Marius van Woerden article

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