Chris Ryder - History / Background

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Looking backward...

History of China Painting

China Painting was invented in China and has existed for centuries. The industry flourished in the UK notably in Stoke with Spode and Wedgewood. Natural metals mixed with a flux to form a powder provide the colours (Chrome – Blue, Cadmium – yellow, Selenium – Red, etc.). These are mixed with oils and applied to porcelain with brushes made of sable or squirrel hair. Each piece is fired some 3 times or more at 800 degrees C at which point the colour fuses with the glaze. 


Pinks, Pansies and Poppies in my grandfather’s garden sparked a love affair for me with flowers and nature. This, and the thrill I felt in finding there pieces of painted pottery rich in feelings of long-ago worlds, inspired in me an appreciation of art on China. The love affair continues and I often still think of my grandfather and the long sunny hours I spent with him as I sit down to paint. A chance invitation to a china painting demonstration in 1984 awakened all these long forgotten dreams and changed my life.


  This plate displays an anchient Chinese Style of painting.

My Background

A chance invitation to a china painting demonstration in 1984 awakened all my long forgotten youthful dreams about China and my Grandad's garden and changed my life. My first weekly lessons were with two of England’s China painting legends – Pat King and Rosina Ayton but required a 70 mile round trip. I have also been fortunate to have studied with some of the world’s greatest artists in the US, Russia, Spain and Monte Carlo. I also ran a weekly class for ten years teaching basic skills.

In 1990 came the opportunity to settle with my family in the heart of North Wales where we live today on the shores of Bala Lake (LlynTegid). Our home in the tranquil Welsh countryside has strengthened my love of flowers and my art has proved a strong bond with the local people bringing me many close friends. My weekly class in Bala is attended by up to 22 people and with the class I organise a very popular annual exhibition, which attracts hundreds of visitors. I also run an annual International Summer School where 30 people come from all over Europe to study with reknowned china painting masters.


The Wonder of China Painting