Klaas John Botas a detectorist and artist

Gary interviews Klaas John Botas

Many of you may have seen or personally know Klaas, he’s a dedicated detectorist and always follows his heart and soul, Klaas John has such a presence you cannot fail to enjoy his company.
Although living in The Netherlands he visits Englands detecting fields on a regular basis and has been doing this for over 25 years.
Pic Klaa and Gary

Klaas John has a very special relationship with the UK. He regularly attends rallies and meetings all over the country.

He is Born from an English father and a Dutch mother, who met in the Netherlands just after the second world war.
In the Netherlands Klaas John is involved with the Dutch Detecting Association, who work very closely with the PAN, the Dutch equivalent to our PAS. He started as a member of board and nowadays he’s a writer for the Dutch Detecting magazine. Although officially retired as a member of board, he’s still involved in the clubs well-being; whenever there is a problem, he is always around to help.

Recently the Dutch Detecting Association knighted him as a honourable member. Klaas John is one of only 6 Honourable members in the Netherlands.

I managed to grab a coffee with Klaas John while visiting the Netherlands and wanted to share this interview.

Gary : Klaas John when did you start detecting?
For me detecting started at  a young age, I must have only been around 10 years old, I saved up to buy my first detector and was hooked on the hobby immediately. Throughout the years I have worked with all kinds of detectors from various brands.

Gary : I Know the answer but please tell the readers what your “Go to” machine is”
Nowadays my workhorse is the XP Deus with the 11 inch coil or the HF coil. I really love the machine, and think it’s almost perfect….. I know, almost !
Yes, there is always room for improvement, but for me that’s mainly on small things. I really love the way XP got things figured out. With the right program and settings you can go on almost any kind of terrain. When people ask me what kind of detector I use or what is the best program, I just return there question. I see a lot of ‘uncertain’ detectorists out there, and in many cases uncertainty can bring failure.
If the person detecting next to you finds a Gold ring.. It doesn’t mean you’ve got the wrong settings or machine. Just take your time to learn what your machine is capable of. If a program or detector works for me, it doesn’t mean that it will work for you. Give it, and yourself time to learn how to detect with what detector and which setting.”

Gary : What has been your most memorable find?

Over the years I have been lucky enough to make many spectacular finds; Silver, Gold, Hoards.

“My Anglo Saxon coin of Cynethryth, wife of King Offa is my most memorable. I still remember when I found it many moons ago. When I first held it in my hands I knew right away this was something special. When I recorded it they told me that it was only the second one known to exist, the other one was in the British museum, being in a more poor state. That’s when I get a buzz, knowing that you have added something to the heritage of the country. The fact that afterwards an object may have to be sold doesn’t concern me, It’s the feeling of recovering it after a long day of stubble bashing that will always be in my heard. The find after recovering it simply becomes an object, the feeling of finding it stays with you for life.”

Gary : I would love to know more about what do you do for a living?
I work as an artist under the name Botas. I am a painter and a sculpture. My paintings can best be described as modern symbolism; I like to combine elements of Cubism and Pop-art and in my paintings you see old symbols, which we can also see in our hobby, they can used to tell the story of the painting.

Gary: Why painting?
Painting has become my form of expression. Over the years I have taught myself various techniques and even invented some. Some of my work is recognizable by its bright colours and the use of powerful black outlines.

These powerful black outlines are painted in the traditional Japanese Shodō style;  “There is only one chance to create the perfect line with the brush. The brush strokes cannot be corrected. Even the smallest lack of confidence shows in the work. These brush strokes write a statement about me at that moment of time”. One of my latest works is ’80 years after’ Picasso made in 1937 his work about the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish civil war on the town of Guernica, this painting tells us 80 years forward, that not much has changed in the world.

“In this painting I wanted to express my feelings about the of the civil war in Syria, not only for the country itself, but also the consequences on a global scale. While the Arab spring flows like a wave over the Arab countries, these freeing waves are becoming bloody civil wars. Various groups in Syria are killing each other on the basis of their religion or origin. The major powers start to interfere in the fight, because they fight a war against terrorism and these terrorists have their Caliphate in Syria.”
The painting is painted in Symbolist style and tells you about the fight in Syria against its own people and foreign countries. The Arab spring is visible on the basis of the tottering ‘hand of Fatima flowers’. The three-unit soldiers stand for murder of opponents, suppression of the people (the veil) and attacks abroad. While the Sun is going down as a sign of a dark age, the effects are also noticeable in the West. The attack on the Office of Charlie Hebdo also enables our freedom of expression. In our own country the anti-Semitism seems to grow again. Many boats full of refugees making the journey across the Mediterranean in the hope (anchor) of a better future. The great powers, America and Russia are opponents again, America seizes over this war against terrorism with great force Russia puts its sickle onto the neck of America because they are supporting the reign of president Assad. This massive work, size: 245 x 110 x 4 cm is painted in Acrylic on Canvas.

Gary : Tell us about the Spooneys?

Besides painting I work on little sculptures called Spooney’s. It all started with a wood block and some spoons and  the first Spooney was born. This first Spooney gave me the idea to literally build my own world. A happy, positive and colourful world was to be.

Since then, there have been many Spooney’s made. Each Spooney’s is unique and is part of SpooneyWorld. A world full of fun, crazy, surprising, exciting and fun events. The Spooney’s are made of wood, metal and kitchenware.

In this SpooneyWorld you can see that I have even included my beloved detecting hobby along in it, as you have seen Gary detecting Spooney’s are being born on a regular basis. The detecting Spooney’s are collected by many of my detecting friends across the world.

John Spooney with his XP Deus metal detector is our latest addition, I am very pleased with the way he has turned out.

Gary : What are your dreams / goals for the future?
“For the hobby I hope I and It will be possible to go out detecting every now and then and see my friends here and across the pond, basically just having a good time. My biggest dream for my work is to make a animation movie with the Spooney’s, for young and old. Tell people great stories about life itself with humour and a tear. A bit like you can see what the Aardman studio’s are doing. Maybe I should get in touch with them” Klaas John smiles.

Gary : As always my friend it has been great talking with you, I very much look forward to meeting up again very soon.

If you like to follow Klaas John Botas or want to know more about his artworks or Detecting Spooney’s, please feel free to use one of these links below.


Official website Artworks: www.botasart.com

Official website Detecting Spooney’s: www.spooneyworld.com

Instagram Artworks: https://www.instagram.com/botas_art/

Instagram Spooney’s: https://www.instagram.com/spooneyworld/

Facebook Spooneyworld: https://www.facebook.com/spooneyworld/

Facebook Klaas-John: https://www.facebook.com/spooneyworld.botas

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