October 20, 2012

A Treasure passed down.

Creative minds are always turning. I am constantly looking, dreaming and thinking about my next project. This time I did not have to look to far. I am blessed to have come from a long line of creative people. The woman in my family have been musicians, bakers, gardeners, artists, photographers you name it! But the person that I credit the most in my creative "upbringing" was my Grandmother, Phyllis. She saw the potential in me, and she cultivated it. My Grandmother, "Gram" as I called her, always had things on hand for me to work with. She belonged to a Garden Club. She taught me how to floral arrange, make bows and garden. When I wanted to learn to sew, she pulled out her ancient black 1950's sewing machine. She would supply me with clay, to sculpt, paper, crayons and actively participated with me when I would draw. Gram even taught me how to bake. Every year from the time I was five years old, we would make cut-out cookies for Christmas. But there was one thing that my Grandmother did that was outstanding, she was a China Painter.


She was self-taught and her work graces the walls and shelves in most of our families homes. When I was eight years old, Gram let me paint my first piece. It was a trivet with a Rabbit on it. I did not further my "formal" instruction after that. China painting is time consuming, and being a young girl, I was to busy off doing other things. However, I observed and helped. I helped load the kiln, helped mix paint, and just sat and watched. I can smell the paint now just thinking about it. When I was older we planned on my continuing my instruction, but then I became pregnant with my first child and life as parent was my priority.

Unfortunately, we lost Gram almost five years ago. October is her birthday month, so naturally my memories are flooded with her at this time of the year. As I was thinking of her, I began wondering what happened with all her china painting items. A quick phone call to my mother I found out that all her things were stored at my parent's house and that Mom could just not get rid of them. I quickly grabbed my keys and headed over there. There in large box was everything! The kiln was still there too. It was as if it was waiting for me. 

It may sound silly, but I believe there was a reason that Gram's china items never were sold. I think that I am suppose to continue in Gram's footsteps, to continue this lost art. It is my sincere hope that I will make her proud, and that she is with me on this new journey. Thank you Gram for leaving me this treasure. 

Study book, paint palette, tools, and a plate of violets painted by Gram.

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