Amsterdam: Made By Hand

A guide to Amsterdam's hidden ateliers and boutiques

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In her search for the ornate and unique, Australian photographer and stylist Pia Jane Bijkerk traverses the three cities she calls home—Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney—to find winsome boutiques and ateliers peddling handmade goods well off the beaten path. A follow-up to her first book on such places in Paris, “Amsterdam: Made By Hand” takes an inside look at the venues where Bijkerk sources inspiration, raw materials and personal possessions.


Organized into 10 neighborhoods, Bijkerk covers every nook and cranny of Amsterdam’s maze-like streets. From more well-known destinations like the Noordermarkt—the open-air farmer’s and textile market—to the tiny retail havens nestled between canals that make up the charming Grachtengordel Zuid neighborhood, Bijkerk leads readers through Amsterdam store by store.


Standouts include the 8,000-title-strong bookshop Boekie Woekie—dedicated to tomes written or designed by artists—and Swarm, American expat and former Anthropologie visual director Leslie Oschmann’s private atelier. An impressive array of buttons sells at Knopenwinkel (pictured above), a boutique set up in a 1920s canal house, while the surprising location of Tesselschade-Arbeid Adelt (located in the city’s famed café district) stocks beautifully crafted goods all handmade by local women (pictured below) and maintained by its volunteer program.


For astute tourists or locals looking for a fresh take on their hometown, both “Amsterdam: Made By Hand” and its Paris counterpart make well-edited guides to some of each city’s most distinct offerings.


Out June 2010, “Amsterdam: Made By Hand” is available for pre-order from The Little Bookroom (where you can also pick up “Paris: Made By Hand“) or from Amazon.