The last course of Charles Bastings master class took place last Tuesday in his amazing gallery in Oss. To improve my knowledge of Chinese porcelain, I attended this course. Starting at 2 pm, I arrived right on time and was warmly welcomed by the participants and Charles himself.

Bastings’ gallery consists of several large rooms connected by small cosy corridors. Walking through these rooms feels like being on an exploration in the world of porcelain. Every wall, shelf and corner contains amazing pieces of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, where every single one of them is beautiful.

A long table was set for us in the main room. With about fifteen other participants I took place at the table and waited for Charles to start the course. The group consisted of a wide range of people from all over the country, all there for the same reason; getting an insight in Charles’ book of knowledge. The atmosphere in the group was very pleasant and their enthusiasm worked infectious.

The master class consists of four courses, which is recommended to follow all. This last course was about Chinese Porcelain; the different eras, styles and recognizing a fake. In an enthusiastic and informative way Charles began his 'lesson' and focused on the following aspects: producing porcelain, Chine de Commande, ‘Amsterdams Bont’, Clobbered ware, Blanc de Chine, Encre de Chine and Powder blue.

What makes this master class so special is the fact that Charles allows his participants to touch his collection and to really feel the objects. This helps the participants to recognize the differences between Japanese and Chinese porcelain, a fake and an original and the way it is glazed. Combining this with Charles unique knowledge and anecdotes makes this master class very unique.

Because this was the last course of this master class, all participants were asked to bring an object from their private collection. All items were displayed on a table, and the laymen in the group were asked to define the items. From what period is it? Is it Japanese or Chinese? And most importantly why do you think that? These questions led into a discussion between laymen, experts and Charles himself.

The group ended this amazing afternoon with a traditional Chinese supper. Unfortunately I had to leave early, but went home with a big smile on my face and knowing way more about porcelain than the day before. During this course I’ve learned a lot about porcelain and have touched all different kind of objects. I could tell you all about it now, but in now way better than Charles. So if you want to know more I highly recommend you to follow this class. For more information send an e-mail to: [email protected]

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