Welcome to the April/May 2018 issue of ❛PATNZ Create❜
the official newsletter of Porcelain Art Teachers NZ
Inspire, Inform, Educate!

Hello Fellow Artists

Welcome to our April/May 2018 newsletter!

Well summer has again taken a holiday to the northern hemisphere and we now have those cold days and dark nights with which to get the paint brushes out. With great intentions and skill, we can paint our master pieces for our own enjoyment and to share with others of likeminded souls.

Just a peek preview of what we have featured in this issue of the ArtOnPorcelainNZ Newsletter.

Our feature artist is none other than our Patron, Gwenda King. An artist of many years. So I know you won't be disappointed seeing her lovely pieces and the story of her porcelain journey.

What gems will ❝Painting With Monica❞ have to help us with our painting? Also, an article with tips on how to book a seminar and what this entails and how to be sure of the legal requirements. More to follow...

Regional Round Up

From Val Kenward-Harrison

At our AGM this morning it was moved that the Manawatu Porcelain Artists make preliminary arrangements to wind up as at 30 June 2018. We no longer have enough members to form a committee.

Val will still be operating Shand China with stock from Fay Good.


2017 was another very busy year for our club. We began the year by continuing the violets and scrolling project which Dawn Sawyer taught us. Most of us have now completed these pieces.

Kal Roberts taught us a poppy project with chipping off and flooded colour paint with water based medium. She also taught an oil and water project, thanks to inspiration from Diddy Yeung who will be sorely missed.

Kal also gave us inspiration with a colourful project — an African Lady using dry grounding and enamel work.

Lynne Roberts held a funky workshop of cats in shoes (see photos below), with various background techniques.

Ailsa Ritchie inspired us with a workshop on Turkish palaces (photo below) which we painted and penned on small plates.

Turkish Palaces

Tricia Dunning came to the midwinter lunch as our guest and we experimented with a one fire workshop using a black based landscape technique.

Sandra Bernaitis came from Australia and taught a 3-day workshop at Lynne's place with her plate Mystique; a beautiful air brushed lady's head. Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend this learned a lot as Sandra happily shared her tips and techniques for porcelain art.

Dawn Sawyers generously shared her treasures of enamel and glass to show us how to design and execute an ornate piece of art.

Tauranga Club meet every Thursday 9.00 am to 12.30pm at the Tauranga Art and Craft Centre St. West Tauranga. Contact is Lynne Roberts 07 5490 847 or 027 222 3627


The Nelson Porcelain Artists Association has long disbanded, but the few members still painting have joined forces with a friendly art group painting in various other mediums. We meet Wednesdays from 9.30am to 1.30pm at the Waimea Town and Country Club in Richmond - think more socialising done than painting but we do enjoy our time together.

Hutt Valley

Our Members are all working on pieces for our Annual Exhibition. This will be held at the ODLIN Gallery in August so time is at a premium.

At the April & May Club Days we discussed the Unit Standard Subjects Nos 1 & 2. Soft Floral Technique was discussed in depth at the April club Day and Sandra Austin demonstrated how to paint in the Traditional European style of painting.

The Group is looking forward to celebrating the Winter Solstice with a lunch at La Bella Italia in Petone.

Many of our Senior members are no longer painting but are still interested in what the group is doing. Hopefully those who can will be able to visit the Exhibition in August. We do miss their knowledge and input at club days and classes.

An Interview with Gwenda King, Auckland — Patron of PATNZ

Gwenda is an amazing lady who is in her young 90's and she is still painting and teaching three classes a week. If I could say that painting is good for the soul and longevity then Gwenda is a great example. I had the most wonderful pleasure to stay with her a few years ago and she was such an amazing hostess. I really had a great time. She also got me hooked on eating mussels, would you believe.

Here is her story in her own words:

Where to start?

My china painting began with Margaret Whitt in Brooklyn, Wellington in the 1940's. She fired the china (earthenware, eg Meakin, Johnson, and some Wedgewood) in her gas copper, covered with sacks overnight (See Photo 1: "Istanbul" plate). Then along came marriage, family, etc, and a move to Auckland to various locations, where I brought out the paints again and had lessons with Rachael Webb on the North Shore.

At the first china painting exhibition in Auckland I was persuaded to start teaching — a decision which has brought me so many friends and a life enriched with travel and a deep love and affection for the tradition of painting porcelain, and an ability to embrace the new.

We have all learnt so much through visiting artists from overseas, and by attending exhibitions. I attended the first IPAT Regional Show in Sydney, N.S.W. before the days of APAT and was the President for the first NZ IPAT Show in Auckland. So long ago. The seminars at all of the APAT shows continued to enrich and educate so that we could pass that knowledge to our students.

My beloved husband died 36 years ago and I was fortunate to have assistance with some funds to travel — I was able to visit and teach in the UK, Denmark, and Canada, reconnecting with those artists who had previously visited NZ, eg John Bergman and Birthe Hattel.

I don't teach three-day workshops any more but am happy to have two morning classes and one evening class each week — our pupils become friends — some have become teachers — and some, sadly, have died.

Watercolours became a personal challenge many years ago and are so compatible with our transparent porcelain colours. My painting trips to Tuscany and Provence were also an inspiration for the beauty around for us all to share. My most recent challenge was to create a memory of a 50th Birthday family trek in the Himalayas on a large tile for one of my students, collated from her photos of the Sherpa village, prayer flags, rhododendrons, scenery etc, (See Photo 7: "Himalayan Trek").

Despite my advancing years, at 92 I am still stimulated and inspired by my students who have all added so much to my porcelain journey.

While I used to teach a series of seminars on specific subjects at the beginning of each year, my weekly classes are now designed to encourage each students' individual creativity.

Art Credits - Artist Gwenda King:
Photo 1:  © "Istanbul" — Photo 2:  © "Lilacs"
Photo 3:  © "Fuchias" — Photo 4:  © "Snow Scene"
Photo 5:  © "White Chrysanthemums" — Photo 6:  © "Oriental Jar with Peacock"
Photo 7:  © "Himalayan Trek" — Photo 8:  © "Modern Tree with Lustre"

Painting With Monica!❞

Many of our painters will know these tips but I have found that reminding us all can make life easier as basics are often forgotten as we move to new techniques.

Mixing Grainy Powder Paints:

The majority ruby and purple colours are known to be very grainy due to the fact they are gold based and the gold is a finely ground metal. This often makes these wonderful colours difficult to paint with. To make this easier; on a clean tile grind the powder paint with pure (gum) turpentine into a really soupy mix. Spread this mix out over the tile and leave to dry in a warm covered container. This may take up to 24 hours to dry completely.

When dry scoop up and mix with your regular media and paint in the normal way.

Look After Your Kiln:

To ensure your pieces fire well and nothing drops onto them it is necessary to clean your kiln regularly. Sweep out your kiln with a soft brush or use the vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to remove all dust and paint particles.

Firing Different Colours:

The gold-based colours (above) need a hotter fire to achieve their full colour potential (800oC).

Iron based will fade completely or turn brown if fired too hot. Fire at 730oC to 750oC.

Test your colours in your own kiln as all kilns fire differently.



There are many recipes for penning and outlining your designs and here are some tried and true recipes.

Mix your powder paint with painting medium and thin with aniseed oil to an ink consistency. Mix your powder paint with fat oil*1 and thin with lavender oil to a penning consistency.

Mix your powder paint with a sugar syrup*2, a commercial drink eg 7UP or Coca-Cola and thin with water to penning consistency. This is a useful mix as when completely dry you can paint over with oil-based mediums without smudging.

*1 To make your own fat oil — pour some pure turpentine into a small jar and cover with cling wrap, leave on a windowsill until the turps has evaporated and a golden oil is all that remains, keep in a lidded jar.

*2 Take ½ cup sugar and mix with 1 cup water and heat until the sugar is dissolved cool and bottle.

Try each of the above hints and use the one which suits your own style of painting/penning.

Happy painting!
Monica Martin

President Hutt Valley Porcelain Art Association

Seminar Booking

NOTES for the uninitiated...

PATNZ were approached by Victoria, Australia asking if NZ would like to host a seminar by two international artists who work in tandem. After showing an interest we were then asked to work with their agent with regard to flights and times. This became increasingly stressful for PATNZ as there was obviously a very short time frame for this to be organised and the pressure was on. In the end PATNZ was working with 3 people:

1) the artist's agent in the UK
2) the financial lady in Victoria who was in China, and
3) the original lady from Victoria.

Payment requirements were for US$5000 (converted to NZ$7125.00) for tutorial fees. The preferred method of payment requested was not the usual manner and on advice we were told to not accept to facilitate this style of payment.

In addition to the above, there would be an airfare for one of the teachers at NZ$3200.00. What was clear is that the cost of having them plus being asked to pay for 50% of all return airfares from country of origin made this unviable.

The committee called a special meeting to discuss and to consult with various people. The advice was not to pay the 50% airfares but just the cost of the return flights between Australia and New Zealand with an opening for them to compromise. This was not acceptable to the other parties so the offer was withdrawn. All in all a very confusing and frustrating lesson learnt.

It would have been great to have a seminar but the time would have been late October early November which may have been a difficult time for members to attend. The number per class was small only 7 in one and 10 in the other. Not enough people to cover the large costs.

PATNZ tried to see if there could be some negotiation but the agent in the UK was not interested and did not understand that our membership is extremely small. The Committee will be having more discussion and preparing some guidelines for the future.

Creative People

The World of Porcelain Art

Groups and Exhibitions to look out for:

Starting with our closest neighbour Australia.

APAT (Australasian Porcelain Art Teachers)

Queensland will be hosting the 17th Australasian Exhibition and convention of Porcelain Art Dates 26-30 August, 2019.

This will be at Twin Towns Club and Resort, Coolangatta. Gold Coast. There is enough time to book and plan in advance. More information will be posted in the coming newsletters.

Contact Apatq2019@gmail.com

Eagle Kiln for Gifting

Anne Roberts has a kiln that she is no longer using and wishes to gift to someone who is painting on porcelain.

Details: Model CPU phase 1 volts 240. kW 3-5 Amps 15.

Would be great to give another person the opportunity to fire their own work.

Ann Roberts Phone 07 544 2001

The magical heart of ArtOnPorcelainNZ beats with Encouragement, Love of our Art, Respect, and Kindness to All! Please keep that in the forefront of your thinking.

Embrace it! Enjoy it!

Your Partner in Success
Sandra Austin
Sandra Austin
(President PATNZ)

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