Students in Mary Petersen’s art class in junior and senior high school spent two weeks studying under the tutelage of Luverne resident Lois Young. Young is a china painter and has work displayed in the Carnegie Cultural Center in Luverne, including pieces in the sales gallery.
In addition to her talent she also donated brushes, paint and porcelain tiles. At the end of the project she brought home the students’ work to fire in her personal kiln. Painting on porcelain requires a patient and detailed painter.
The process of painting china happens when powdered pure pigment is added to silica. Artists mix the pigments with mineral oil to make the paint. In the kiln the silica melts and adheres the pigment permanently to the piece. The process is difficult in that too much oil will cause an image to blur or bleed as it burns off in the kiln and too little can flake off. The project also introduced the students to new brush strokes and the technique of adding depth of color through several painting sessions and firings. Students were given the choice to use either a preprinted pattern or their own original design. The pieces will be on display during the school vocal concert on Thursday, Dec. 6.