The Gardiner Museum is closed temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Check our homepage for a rotating selection of online resources and digital art experiences that you can enjoy at home. Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter and follow us on social media for your daily ceramics fix.
During our temporary closure, we're posting exhibitions and selections from our collection online. Discover Inuit ceramics, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, pottery from the Ancient Americas, and more!
We're posting family-friendly art activities inspired by our collection and the endless possibilities of clay. Visit our Family Day page for weekly crafts, colouring pages, and more fun art projects that you can enjoy at home.
Every object in our permanent collection can be accessed through our eMuseum portal. Learn about individual collecting areas, like Italian Maiolica or Modern and Contemporary Ceramics, or search the full collection by keyword. You'll be amazed by what you discover!
We’re closed until further notice, but we’re planning for the day when we can again welcome visitors. We encourage you to make a gift to the Gardiner. This will be vital for when we reopen, and is the optimistic message we all need.
A tulipiere, or bulb bowl, was used to grow tulips, crocuses, or hyacinths indoors. A bulb would be placed in each of the eight tubular ‘spouts’, which have access to a shared water reservoir. Tulips were especially popular in the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, when merchants from the East introduced them to the European market. This particular tulipiere was manufactured in London, England. It’s made of a type of tin-glazed earthenware known as delftware.
Want to make your own version using materials from home? Here’s how…
You can also download the instructions as a PDF
Start by collecting materials from your recycling bin. Toilet paper or paper towel rolls are a must have for this project.
Arrange your materials to make the structure of the tulipiere. We used a tissue box, toilet paper tubes, a take out soup container, and a berry box. You can cut toilet paper tubes into different lengths, and play around with how you arrange the parts.
You can make parts out of cardboard as well. We made a cardboard ring to raise the height of the take out container so it looks more like the tulip holder in the Gardiner’s collection.
Wrap one end of the toilet paper rolls with masking tape. Cut slits into the tape, so you can bend it to be perpendicular to the roll. Take the cardboard ring and tape it to the bottom of the bowl.
Put a lid of a plastic container on the bottom to give the piece a little extra width and height. At this stage, you can still be playing around what pieces you want to join together.
Tape the toilet paper or paper towel rolls on top of the container or tissue box. Make sure all the masking tape is pressed down firmly.
Using construction paper, tissue paper, or paint (we recommend acrylic), cover the piece in white. Just like we’re now covering the various colours of the materials we used to build our tulip holder, the delftware potters used white glaze to hide the brown clay of their pottery.
You can decorate your tulipiere using as many colours as you want, or you can try a classic blue and white colour scheme like the one in our collection. Popular images to paint on tulip holders were flowers, birds, and landscapes.
Make some flowers to display in it, then take a photo and share it using #GardinerFromHome.
111 Queen's Park
Canada, M5S 2C7
The Gardiner Museum is temporarily closed.