The family firm, Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum, is the oldest company in the Netherlands. Caspar Robles’ atlas from 1572 shows the brick factory where it is based. Over the centuries, Tichelaar has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in the field of ceramics. While the 19th century saw craft techniques disappear from industrial production, the company continued with traditional and archaic craft processes. Today it is the only factory in Europe to still use the 17th century faience technique. The clay, some of which is excavated locally, and the glazes are the company’s two most important raw materials. Its present director, Jan Tichelaar, deliberately opted to expand and promote Tichelaar craft skills. As well as producing its renowned decorative earthenware, the company has developed a range of ceramic products for the building industry.