July 16, 2009

Porcelain artists paint with pizzazz

By Brenda L. Shelkey

True artists find the canvas of their dreams in places that aren’t always typical. For some, chalk on the sidewalk or the side of a building is the canvas of choice. One local group of women meet together weekly to discover their creative side by joining a porcelain painting guild led by Vida Klocke of Underwood. According to Klocke, painting on porcelain isn’t a lost art and it isn’t all about creating the perfect teacup service. Porcelain artists find their canvas can take on many shapes, maybe a teacup, but also a vase, a fireplace tile, a horse, an ornament, a lamp, a tray, a piece of jewelry, even a picture sized tile worthy of framing upon completion. For Klocke, painting porcelain has become more than just a pastime. It has become a way of life. She had developed her skills and knowledge of porcelain painting to the point that she now teaches others how to become porcelain artists. Currently the local club of porcelain painters numbers 11. They meet once a month. "Porcelain painting is a real art," said Klocke. "It’s not a craft like some people think it is. Art theory all pertains to this like it does any real art form." She explained that it isn’t like a ceramics class. They use a pattern, but they use a layering of color with each layer requiring a firing in Klocke’s kiln.She holds a weekly class in Underwood Tuesday evenings. After developing written lesson plans, Klocke tries out the projects on the four women in the weekly class, Vicki Benzmiller, Sandy Krumwiede, Elner Stengel, and Peggy Johnson.

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