The Birth Plate Tradition
Birth plates have come a long way since they first became popular in the early 1920’s. This tradition began in a little shop in Holland when Messrs. T. Visser and K. Prins Started Making Delft pottery. They called their company “Plateelbakkerij Schoonhoven” or Schoonhoven Keramiek. Although they began their endeavor in the early 20th century the process used to make plates can be dated back to the 1700’s. This type of pottery originated in Delft Holland which is where it got its name.
These plates are created using a blend of white-firing clay that is poured into molds or thrown on a pottery wheel depending what the final product will be. When it comes out from its first firing, it is hand painted, covered with just a thin layer of glaze and goes back for a second firing. The second time it is fired will result in the beautiful bright colors one would expect from Delft pottery. Delft potters has been a tradition for many years. They are especially popular in Europe. After the birth of a child or grandchild, the family would commission these beautiful works of art that will turn into treasured family heirlooms.
Although it is less common these days, it is still a popular tradition. Today birth plates are so beautiful and come in many forms. They have come a long way from where they started. You can find all different styles to match the baby’s birth stone or nursery. Some have the baby’s name, weight, height etc. and others have the birth date and foot prints, or any combination of these things. You can order plates with the baby’s picture or announcement, or you can even buy a kit and create your very own at home. A popular new idea is to use a plate with baby’s name as a guest book for a baby shower. There is a small picture with the name above or below in the middle of the plate. Then as the guests arrive for the celebration they can sign their name or leave a sweet message for the baby or parents to be.
You can find these keepsakes made from all different materials, such as different types of metals, glass as well as the traditional ceramic. No matter where you get yours from or how you make it, these birth plates are a time honored tradition that brings warmth and meaning to the recipient.