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Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Colour Mill at Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

De Kat (the Cat) is a working dye mill, one of the several windmills we saw in operation when we visited Zaanse Schans. In the first stage there are vertical cutters to chop up the raw material, and the millstones which then grind the pigment weigh in at 3 - 4 tonnes each. In the original design, there were wooden walls to box in the millstones processing different colours, to avoid cross-contamination.

You can get up close and personal with the huge cogs that drive the millstones, and we heard that a Japanese tourist was thrown through the air after grabbing hold of one of the windmill's powerful sails for a photo. It's certainly easy to imagine losing a limb if you worked here.

We visited on a very windy day, which is surely good weather for seeing windmills, and meant we had chance to watch the mill operative adjusting the sails.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans


Elizabeth Braun said...

I'm an absolute colour fanatic and am even seriously considering books on colour science and colour chemistry, so I would have had a field day at this place. Must add it to my travel wish list! Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie V said...

I've never heard of a color mill before - and would never have even dreamt of one. How interesting to visit a mill which actually is working. Another place to visit...there are so many.

Blond Duck said...

You go to the coolest places!

Jenny Woolf said...

How absolutely fascinating. I was dying to find something like this to see on my fairly recent trip to Holland. Think I would have built the trip around it. I guess I'll save it for another time.

Jenny Woolf said...

By the way the Zaanse Schans link doesnt work.

Rachel said...

Just imagine trying to crush the pigment ores before wind power...!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

So interesting and this museum is just the sort of place we would enjoy visiting.

becky said...

wow, such workings!!!! i wonder what the interiors of today's sleek 3-bladed windmills look like...

Simoney said...

WOW, what an amazing place!
Love those barrels of pigment :)

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