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Paul Lewing - part 1

This is the power point presentation and lecture on china painting given by Marci Blattenberger and Paul Lewing at the NCECA clay conference in Seattle , WA on Thursday , March 29,2012

Also, this space will include other filmed china painting events .

Paul Lewing - part 1

Postby marcib » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:33 pm

We don’t know exactly where the idea of firing a lower temperature glaze onto an already fired glaze came from, but we do know why it became necessary. About 1000 years ago, potters in northern China discovered how to build a kiln up the side of a hill to get enough draft to achieve stoneware temperature. But this meant that the low-fire red, yellow and green lead glazes they’d been using on earthenware no longer worked. They were left with only one color, blue, and only one way to get it: as an underglaze.

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If the Chinese potters didn’t think of overglazes on their own, the idea certainly came from west of them. Perhaps it came from Persian overglazed earthenware such as Mina’i ware. Or perhaps they got the idea from Egyptian glass painting, or from Middle Eastern metal enamelware. Their cobalt was coming from Afghanistan, and decorators were coming along with it to work in Chinese factories.

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Soon after Northern Sung potters invented stoneware, they were forced to flee to southern China by the Mongols. There they discovered kaolin at Jingdezhen and began making porcelain.
These potters perfected a style known as ducai, or “joined” ware or sometimes “five-color ware”, so named because it was a fusion of the white clay body with blue underglaze and red, yellow and green overglazes.

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Originally they used a group of transparent colors called famille verte, based on copper. By 1720, a more opaque color system known as famille rose came to predominate, based on gold as a colorant and primarily invented by European alchemists. These pieces, and several others in this show, are from the collection of the Seattle Art Museum. Do not miss their downtown Porcelain Room. It’s one of the country’s great collections of both European and Asian porcelain.
By this time, porcelain was big business in the world economy, second only to gold in value. All over Europe and Asia, it was being collected and traded, and people were trying to figure out how to make it. The Koreans and Vietnamese learned to make porcelain, but never overglazes.


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Re: Paul Lewing's half of the presentation

Postby marcib » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:37 pm

In the late 16th century, Japan launched the so-called Pottery Wars, with the express purpose of kidnapping Korean potters and bringing them to Japan to teach Japanese potters how to make porcelain. One of these found kaolin in Arita Province in 1616, and the Japanese porcelain industry was born. Soon after, through an act of industrial espionage, the secret of overglazing came to Japan. Several factories and workshops sprung up, notably Imari, Kutani, Kakiemon and my personal favorite, Nabeshima, each known for its distinctive compositional styles and overglaze colors. When the Chinese Ming Dynasty fell in 1644 and China closed itself off from the rest of the world for 14 years, the Japanese were ready to step in and fill the world demand.

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About this time, Ninsei Nonomura, the first individual potter anywhere whose name we know, was producing Nomura ware.
It wasn’t until 1708, at least 700 years after porcelain was invented in China, that the first European porcelain was made.

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Johann Friedrich Böttger, an itinerant alchemist, was forced by Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, to make porcelain from kaolin found near Meissen, Germany. In 1709, the Meissen factory opened, and the race was on for other European kingdoms to discover the secret.

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Within fifty years, almost every kingdom from Madrid to St. Petersburg had its own porcelain factory, and new techniques and colors proliferated.

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The most successful of these was the Sèvres factory outside Paris. They were particularly known for their dry grounding, a very difficult and exacting technique in which powdered color is evenly applied to a sticky surface to get a deep solid color in one firing. Even the tiniest smudge, nick or spot of dust will ruin the effect, with no possibility of touching it up.

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Re: Paul Lewing's half of the presentation

Postby marcib » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:40 pm

Two individuals who were particularly noteworthy in the history of porcelain and overglazing were the second and third directors of the Meissen factory, Johann Gregorius Höroldt and Johann Joachim Kändler. Höroldt invented the muffle kiln as well as sixteen new overglaze colors, including most of the color systems we still use today. Kändler was one of the most brilliant clay sculptors in history and invented the genre of the porcelain figurine.
Eventually three versions of porcelain were developed: hard-paste, soft-paste and bone china, all extensively decorated with china paints in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Bone china was, and still is, produced mainly in Great Britain. While Continental porcelain factories churned out elaborate productions, both functional and sculptural, for royal courts, British potters focused more on the growing middle class.

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England was also the scene of the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. As in all other industries, handwork was replaced by mechanized methods. In the potteries, this meant printing rather than hand painting of imagery. First came transfer prints from wood blocks, then from engravings, and then direct printing of decals. Sometimes only an outline was printed, to then be hand-colored; more often the entire design was printed.


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Sometimes the search for relevance in the modern world led to some bizarre objects, such as this work from the Soviet porcelain factory depicting a barefoot peasant on a plate that would have cost many times his annual income

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As often happens when technology moves on, factory methods became hobbies and art forms. This happened to china painting in the late 19th and early 20th century, just as it’s happening to film photography today. In 1882 Paris-based Lacroix first began marketing china paints to individuals in small quantities and by 1899, Keramic Studio magazine advertised ten brands. China painting became one of the most popular recreational activities in the world, particularly in the United States, and especially in the Midwest. New small cast iron kilns fueled by kerosene, natural gas or coal gas appeared, as did dealers of blank china.
The most influential painters of the period were all immigrants. The most famous was Franz Bischoff, the “King of Roses”.

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Re: Paul Lewing's half of the presentation

Postby marcib » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:43 pm

Franz Bertram Aulich, * George Leykauf, D. M. Campana and Paul de Longpré were also influential in developing what came to be known as the “American Style”, characterized by soft colors, naturalistic drawing, wiped out highlights, gradated backgrounds, and no outlines. This is still the prevalent style among American china painters today.

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In 1913 Dorothea Warren O’Hara developed what came to be known by china painters as “enamel” or “raised enamel”, an overglaze product similar to china paint but with some dimension to it. Before this the term “overglaze enamel” applied to all colored overglazes; the term “china paint” came into widespread use at this time to distinguish it from raised enamel.

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One American factory from this era that is still in business today is Pickard China, noted for its bright colors and extensive use of Roman gold.


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Two wars and a depression almost killed the art of china painting, but in the 1950s, when women left the factories and went home to have babies in larger homes with enough electricity to power the newly invented octagonal top-loading electric kiln, they revived the art. They had some leisure time and some extra money, and air travel began to make it possible to teach to a wider audience and learn from more teachers. These ladies are all gone now, but a few of the first generation of their students are still with us, although most of them are no longer painting, and some of them, such as Ann Cline, Sonie Ames and Jayne Houston, have left us with supply companies named after them.

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Re: Paul Lewing's half of the presentation

Postby marcib » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:47 pm

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Rosemarie Radmaker had the honor to be selected as the china painting advisor to one of the most ambitious art projects of the 1970s, * Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party”. Chicago saw china painting as the quintessential women’s art form, and hoped this project would help revive it. She was quite disappointed when china painters, a very conservative bunch in every way, were offended by her imagery

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It would seem that china painting would have been a natural fit with the Funk Art movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, but very few of these artists embraced the medium. A few, such as Richard Shaw and Ron Nagle, used china paints as accents.

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Only Ralph Bacerra used china paints and lusters throughout his career as his main decorating medium.

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Howard Kottler employed china paints in the form of commercial decals and adopted the china painters’ practice of working on commercially manufactured ware. Voulkos, Autio, Leach, Hamada, Soldner, Reitz and other charismatic artists were very influential in the history of china painting, in that they drove an entire generation to the “Real Men Fire To Cone 10” mystique.

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Re: Paul Lewing's half of the presentation

Postby marcib » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:50 pm

Of those, only Hamada used overglazes, going every summer to Okinawa to make pots specifically for them

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Many contemporary china painters have continued to work in a continuation of the American Style, such as Gisela Bylund, and Mary Ashcroft Seehagen.

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Others have chosen to use the traditional imagery of plants, animals, and landscapes and treat them in a slightly more imaginative way, as in these works by Felipe Pereira, Andreas Knobl,

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Marcia Stivelman, Celeste McCall, and Karla Pendleton

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Some, as in this plate by Jane Bowen, have used very traditional painting technique to render an unusual subject matter.

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Continued at Paul Lewing -Part 2.
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Re: Paul Lewing - part 1

Postby kleegrubaugh » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:43 pm

WOW!
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