Paul Lewing Workshop
Water-Based China Painting - 2008
Paul will lead a three day, hands-on exploration of China paint. Also called overglaze enamel, this has been a popular ceramic decorating medium for 1000 years, but is almost unknown among today's studio ceramicists. Participants will explore many methods of applying china paint on pottery and ceramic tile. China painting is more like watercolor or oil painting than any other ceramic material, and those ceramic artists who are painters at heart find it very exciting. Emphasis will be on water-based mediums, rather than traditional oil-based.
Paul will help potters discover a new decorating technique, and traditional china painters will find new ways of applying a familiar material. The workshop will explore water-based mediums only, and will address the use of all kinds of brushes along with stamping, printing, spraying and stenciling china paints. Participants will also investigate resist and wipeout techniques, as well as traditional shading and ground-laying methods.
The group will decorate tiles and pottery with their own designs. Work will be fired overnight, and the three day format will allow multiple firings with layering. Participants will leave with finished pieces, and gain an appreciation for the fast and inexpensive firings, bright color range, and expressive possibilities of china painting with non-toxic non-allergenic water-based mediums.
Class size 18. All levels of skill in china painting, from beginner to professional, are welcome.
Free to the public
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Paul Lewing Bio
Paul Lewing always knew he wanted to be an artist. He started painting in oils at the age of eight, and continued into college at the University of Montana in Missoula. There he discovered clay, studying with Rudy Autio, one of America's best known clay artists and muralists, and earned both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree. After graduate school, Paul moved to Seattle, and has been a professional clay artist there since 1972, first making functional pottery and, since 1986, working exclusively on ceramic tile. Paul is known for his painterly style of glazing, and for the wide diversity of imagery, styles and techniques he employs in his tile art. A former mule packer, horse wrangler, and hunting and fishing guide, Paul often shows his love of mountains and the outdoors in his landscape, floral, animal and fish murals. He is also widely respected for his expertise in glaze chemistry.
Paul is the author of "China Paint & Overglaze", to be published by American Ceramic Society in February of 2007. Articles by Paul have appeared in Ceramics Monthly, Studio Potter, The Crafts Report, Clay Times, Pottery Making Illustrated and other magazines, and his work has been featured in a number of textbooks. Paul is also active in the crafts community, and has been President of both the Washington Potters' Association and Northwest Designer-Craftsmen, and a member of the Studio Potter Network National Advisory Board. He has taught at Pottery Northwest, the Factory of Visual Arts, Highline Community College, and at numerous workshops across the United States.
Paul's work has been shown in many regional and national exhibitions, and is included in the collections of the Montana Institute of the Arts, Colorado Springs Art Museum, Overlake School, and Pacific NW Bell. The Mayor of Seattle once presented pieces of his work to, among others, the King of Sweden and the Queen of Denmark.
Paul Lewing Artist Statement
I've been a painter all my life. I started painting in oils when I was eight. Back when I was a production potter, my work was as much about painting with glazes as it ever was about pottery. When I switched to concentrating on tile work, it was more from a desire to once again be a painter than anything else, but I didn't want to give up firing, glazes, or the company of potters.
I chose china paint as my painting medium for tile because it was as close to painting as it's possible to get in ceramics. The speed and ease of firings, and the true color of the raw china paints, were the big attractions. It's the perfect medium for painters who want permanent paintings in bright, subtle colors.
Now I'm committed to bringing the disparate worlds of china painting and ceramic art together. My hope is that my forthcoming book, "China Paint & Overglaze" (ACerS) will go a long way to accomplishing this.