Thursday, September 29, 2011
San Miguel - Part 10
Both Nonie and I love to paint ceramics. David and Jessica, of Galeria Quinta Irma, invited us to come and enjoy a little interlude, painting our own piece of their pottery with them.
Nonie opted for a couple of tiles. She used Mexican designs from the Dover publication Design Motifs of Ancient Mexico by Jorge Enciso. We have both been fascinated with this little book that is chock-full of wonderful, graphic designs from all over Mexico.
I did a fish platter. I have this "thing" about painting fish on ceramics and have been doing so for quite some time now. I will admit that the design that emerged for this piece is utterly different from my usual weird-o fish (as one of my daughter's once described my work). I wan't at all sure about this process, using the glaze that David prepared with cobalt and water. They paint onto ware that they throw, that is then glazed with a white glaze in the majolica style. The color is applied over a milky white glaze and bakes in when the piece is fired. So, with this technique, with a heavier application of the cobalt, which is one of only six colors that are "allowed" with the traditional Talavera ware, you get a darker blue. You start light and work towards your dark values.
Here are the colors we were using. Nonie's tiles are vibrant with many colors, mine just various shades of cobalt.
Here are some of the pieces that were painted yesterday and fired over night. Nola's two tiles are on the bottom left, David's two mermaid tiles (with which he gifted Nonie!) are on the right. The fish platter is mine and the colorful cat pitchers to the right are Jessica's wonderful, whimsical pieces.
Not a great result, but I am happy with my first attempt at this traditional way of painting ceramics. It was a real pleasure to sit there in companionable silence with the three of them, working away for a little while. David and Jessica are so generous with both their knowledge and their art, and have shown us every kindness imaginable. I am truly honored to have met them.
This is a memory of San Miguel I will treasure!