Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Recipe, In Me

Has anyone ever asked you, "How did you start......." , to which you just replied with a quick, "I don't know~ never thought about it I guess" ? I get that question alot, and thought I would share one of the major ingredients to my recipe.....
When I was young, my Grandmother Ioerger was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. She was a china painter and studied at the local studio where I grew up. I was always drawing and painting anyways, so she decided to choose me, from all the children and grandchildren, to hand her paints and china down to. It was like a box full of treasure and precious gems....and, as I learned, it truly was. Painting china (not ceramic), is sadly becoming a lost art. It is very labor intensive, can only be fired in a special kiln hot enough for china, and one piece takes layer after layer after layer of paint. Paint on a color, fire. Paint on another color, fire. On and on sometimes a dozen or more times....and the best is always last~ the gold and precious metals. Below are my precious viles and pots of pure 24k gold~ they go on black, and after firing and burnishing, appear like magic........so precious and beautiful

Behind the viles and pots of gold, are some of my jars of different oils~ they are used to mix the powdered paints, and 'they' are what gives a china painter's studio the 'smell'. Its like nothing you have ever smelt before~ like Heaven on earth to me. There is lavender oil, Dresden and Kelp oils, just to name a few.

Below are some of Grandma's color study books, and her hand made paint brushes that I now use. Within her hand written pages, all the secrets as to what colors fire best over what other colors~ quite like a dyer's book today
Here is one of my glass palettes, ready with paint for a set of Dresden china dolls I am painting~ a late 18th century couple, you'll see in a minute
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...the paints. Grandma had some of the most precious, rare colors~ I was always the envy of the other ladyes at the studio.... each vile holds a special concoction of powdered earth elements....some of which, are no longer found on this Earth. Just a teensie weensie dip in with the palette knife will do~ a single grain sometimes.....this is placed on a porcelain tile, and carefully added to different oils, and then ground and ground round with the knife...sometimes 10 minutes or more. There is NEVER any rush in painting china.......
Here is a little peek at some things that both I, and my Grandmother, painted. She did the 2 dollys in the center, and the teapot.....I painted the pot on the center left, and my pair of 18th century dollys in the back ,which still have another coat of skin tone, and gold to be done.....and the little pot in the foreground I added, because Grandma lined it in 1952, and I am doing the painting.
It's not exactly "Primitive", but its a big part of the recipe that made me who I am~ Rachael Kinnison, Diamond K Folk Art

7 comments:

Annie said...

One of the nicest stories I've heard. What a wonderful box of memories you have...and beautiful china too.

Hugs
annie

Lana said...

Oh Rachael ~ I loved this story! To have all those memories of your grandmother and have her things passed down to you is the most precious thing ever!

Lana

Suzanne said...

Thanks Rachael for sharing your story about your grandmother and the legacy of her art. What a wonderful thing!

SweetAnnee said...

An absolutely wonderful recipe dear Rachael. How fortunate of you to have such a talented caring grandmother! thanks so much for sharing this endearing tale of YOU!
Deena

Wendy said...

Such a wonderful story of you and your Grandma....now I know where you got your talent from! She left you with such a treasure box of memories and gifts from her soul. You are so lucky to have those. :)

Hallowed Hill Primitives said...

Rachael -- such sweet memories! Thanks for sharing this. . . You know, I wish you lived next door, so we could sit and work and chat together . . . Lots O' Love, Sarah

Sylvia Anderson said...

Thank you for sharing such a lovely story with us. Your grandmother was a gifted artist herself, and it is wonderful that you have carried on in her footsteps....she would be proud of you!