How hand painting on teapots and other ceramics has changed my story…forever!
I am an Artist. Everyone has a totally different emotional and verbal response when they hear me say that.
All sorts of questions usually get delivered when I say I am an Artist to someone new, like:
What medium do you work with (99%)
Where do you exhibit? (.5%)
What do you do to make money? (the bold other. 5%)
So, here is a tale about how I answer these questions now. It wasn’t always this way.
But that is the beauty of writing my own fairytale, right? I can look back upon all areas of my life as stepping stones to my personal now.
I now create hand painted teapots that fill peoples home all over the US (hopefully across the ocean one day). But this tale wasn’t always the way.
I’m not one who entirely believed I could make Art for everyone. I drew, mostly on paper or scrap wood, for many years. I loved my drawings, but they were just for me to have and to hold forever.
I fell in love with drawing more after someone (an Art teacher) told me it wasn’t my medium (side note: never, ever, ever listen to someone who tells you that you can’t. That is ALL about them and their disbelief in themselves).
Then I had the spark from my beloved husband, Jason, to draw on a ceramic Gaiwan for a friend who loves & lives tea and was moving away. This of ours friend loves my Art (he expressed a want to have a tattoo of my art on his body!).
I found non-toxic paint made for ceramics and went for it. I made my first mark. A few hours and lots of playing later, I finished my first hand painted ceramic ware. I was in love with a new way to draw.
Let me step even more back.
Painting on ceramics has a rich history that can bee looked at via almost any region of the world. I like to look at the Italian side of things, given that I’m 3/4 Italian in my heritage (I am a proud 1/4 Scottish, too!).
The even greater past
A long, long time ago, around 990 CE, Emperor Otto II took a lil’ tour around Italy, and decided to own and splice up certain parts of Italy’s landscape to give away as rewards or gifts. One area he gave to several German barons was Deruta, a city that today is well known as THE spot for Italian ceramics. The reasons this is aspect of Italian ceramics is important:
1. There is written history about Deruta due to all these transactions by dear Otto II
2. Deruta was a rich area at this time, hence making it a nice gift of land to those German barons.
What made Deruta rich? Well, there was a booming economy of ceramic arts, fresco painting, and decorative arts coming from this area.***
The techniques of painting on ceramics, like creating hand painted teapots, is ancient. Dertua and it’s peeps made the map. Literally.
Derutans have demonstrated how functional painting on ceramics could make an area thrive.
Ok, fast forward. I promise I will write more about the history of painting on Italian ceramics more and more as I learn further.
I write about the history to acknowledge that I am not the first or last in a deep lineage of Artists making their way by making beauty in your life.
I bow with a gracious, spacious, and loving heart to this knowing that if it is done throughout history, I can do it.
My first brush stroke on a piece of ceramic tea ware bore a new me.
I began, from that point, to create more. I began to hand pain teapots, tea cups, gaiwans, tiles, and vases.
My painting was engaging in a way that I could create a thriving new business from my ART.
I just let go of my day job.
I realize that people love having unique and special pieces in their home to use every day.
I awoke to my call and started to make that happen in service to fuel the need for beauty in each day.
I love this work, and making custom teapots has blown my heart open to the possibility of touching people in their present moment, each and every day during their routine.
And like the people of Deruta, I thrive. I allow. I let my work be known and seen and experienced throughout the world.
Now I answer those 3 questions about being with such ease and grace, it amazes me.
Not too shabby for the story of these sweet hand painted teapots, right?
To your own histor-tea!
*** Source for my history section is:
Minchilli, Elizabeth Helman. Deruta: a Tradition of Italian Ceramics. Chronicle Books, 1998.