Last week, we welcomed a new student to the class, her name is Dee Broz. Welcome, Dee! We are always looking for new recruits. As I have mentioned before, the number of china painters has been on a steady decline since the 1970's. In January of 2010, Vicki Vickers joined us and has turned into a nice painter and a friendly presence in the classroom. Over the last nineteen years, I probably have started or taught over 200 painters at Irving Rec. But it never gets old, I am always excited to introduce new students to china painting and make new friends. Also, last week Barb Ellison, a student that has been with the class for seventeen years, brought us all pumpkin bars. Yum!
Well, gluing glass beads to our tea cups has proved to be a problem. About one third to one half of them fall off when they are applied to a vertical surface. On a flat or horizontal surface the glass beads have near one hundred percent success rate. This week I did some experimenting with alternate glues. Hot glue, glues that use acetone as a solvent, and white glue all have about the same failure rate. Any ideas out there?
Here is more trivia, have you ever noticed that porcelain tea, coffee, and chocolate pots resemble silver tea, coffee, and chocolate pots? Well, they were copies of silver sets. One of the reasons porcelain became the dining room standard of the 1700's, was its inability to be melted down. Silver was often confiscated by the state and melted down for ready coin. Going to war? Grab the silver. Talk about taxation.
Porcelain was also valued in the 1700's and 1800's because it didn't tarnish or change color. It was seen as pure and healthier alternative to wood trenchers, earthenware, and pewter. Given the levels of lead in pewter and earthenware glazes plus the levels of bacteria on porous surfaces, they were right. If you could afford it, you ate off porcelain!