I’m Mary Dean and I have been china painting for almost 17 years. Although my formal education had nothing to do with art or painting, I have studied with some of the best artists in the United States including Cheryl Hight, Jeanne Hilton, Jane Bowen, Mary Sheehan, Celee Evans and others. I do it all for fun. I love to paint birds and dogs, cats and look forward to painting more animals. I am always learning new techniques thru seminars and of course, trial and error.
I do commission pieces upon request. Since all of my work is hand painted, it is impossible for me to create an exact duplicate of anything I have painted. However, I have often done complete collections of china and tile. I have hand painted tiles for a home in Wake Forest, over 95 pieces of china for a customer in Charlotte, 21 bon bon dishes for favors at a dinner party in Raleigh as well as special orders for a local fine dining tableware shop.
China Painting is an ancient art that is still popular today, thousands of years after it was originated. It is a form of decoration for porcelains and other ceramics that involves multiple layers of special glazes applied to a piece of previously glazed porcelain or ceramic to form a visual design. After each layer is painted, the piece is fired in a “low” temperature kiln to make the glazes permanent.
The result of these multiple layers of paint and firings is a rich, permanent decoration on the piece. The China painting technique is commonly used on previously glazed dishes and wall and floor tiles. Once the piece is completed it can be considered a permanent piece of art that, sparing accident or disaster, will be around far longer than the artist that created it.
China painting is my favorite hobby. I have always loved to paint... walls, decorative wood and still enjoy making jewelry. But my real love is painting on china, tiles and glass.