I’ve been taking a once-a-week porcelain painting class. It looks like I’m much better at it than I really am because we used a pattern. Basically, all we did was transfer the design and paint it.

Still, we learned some skills particular to porcelain painting, such as mixing the paint (the paints are mostly minerals and come in tiny little vials of colored powder), preparing the brush, and making simple brush strokes.

Unlike any other sort of painting, porcelain painting uses only one side of the brush, and the strokes are always downward. After each application of paint, the project is fired in a kiln then lightly sanded to remove any roughness, and another layer is added.

It was supposed to be a six-week class, but the teacher is willing to continue. The next project might be a Christmas ornament of some kind. Should be fun!

Without a pattern, I am not much of an artist, as you can see from this silly goose I did at a gourd painting class.

Do you see a pattern here? Once there were dance classes, now painting classes! (And birds. I just realized both art projects are birds. The trumpet vine was by design rather than a coincidence.)

Although the porcelain class is instructional, the gourd painting class wasn’t. We chose a gourd and a pattern if we wanted, and did our own thing. Since this gourd was obviously a goose, that’s what I tried to paint.

Since I don’t like having a lot of things sitting around gathering dust, I thought I might spray the goose with polyurethane to make it waterproof and then find a place for it in my as-yet-unplanted garden.

Now that’s a class I would like — a gardening class! I am a try-it-and-see gardener, and mostly, I don’t see anything in my garden, but I am hoping that at least a few of the 200+ bulbs I ordered will flower next spring. I already received some of the bulbs. They were supposed to be sent at optimal planting time, and this is not optimal — it reaches eighty or beyond. The instructions that came with the bulbs say not to plant until the weather is consistently below 60˚ and that won’t happen for at least another month. By then,  the weather will be cool to do all that digging.

Meantime, there is porcelain painting.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

10 Responses to “Classes!”

  1. Sam Sattler Says:

    I love the idea of always taking a class of some sort because I’m of the theory that as soon as we quit learning, the slippery slope of mental decline begins. I’ve just finished a video class on World War II and I’m in the middle of one on Jane Austin. I used to think that I would be taking college classes after retirement – right up until I found out what they cost these days. Oh, well.

    Love the projects. You are more talented than you give yourself proper credit for.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Like you, I always thought I’d be taking college classes at this age, but finances is only one of the reasons I don’t. The main reason is I am too knowledgeable (and contrary, some folks say) to accept what a teacher says. And homework? Uh, no. So painting class it is.

  2. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    I like your projects, and I’m with Sam…our brains (and our lives) benefit by regular stimulation and challenge. I’ve tried a lot of different things through the years — sewing, bookkeeping, and various artistic pursuits: i.e., pottery, tie-dying and batik, oil painting, macrame, etc. My writing and painting are the only profitable (paying) endeavours, but all were enriching. 🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’ve tried various creative pursuits over the years, and even made my living for many years by doing craft and miniature shows (cloth dolls not much bigger than a quarter). But I got burned out on all that. I’m nowhere near good enough to sell any of my artwork, but there is still hope for the books!

  3. Cicy Says:

    very nice i love the hummimg bird

  4. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Cool! Now if only there were creepy designs to match my aesthetic tastes. I’d enroll in a class like that!

  5. Wanda Hughes Says:

    Your gourd would make a lovely bird house, just don’t spray it and hang it from your porch or a tree. Love your enthusiasm for classes. Can’t wait for the next exhibition. 😀

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’d like that, but there’s no hole for a bird, and I’m not sure how to cut one without destroying the gourd. Apparently, in previous years the gourd painting classes were specifically to paint birdhouses, but I not this year. I think she got tired of making the holes.

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