Layered slip platter – Deanna Roberts © 2016
Diana’s arrived at my place… I’m somewhat embarrassed by my amateur pieces. I’ve studied this art of ceramics. I’ve done the hard yards. I’ve sat the tests and exams. I’ve done my homework. Yet I feel I’ve done nothing by comparison. Diana gives me praise here and there and loads of encouragement, which I graciously accept. She then asks me what I want to do with ceramics, ie where I want to take it and I explain that I don’t know but I do keep coming back to Japanese designs. She notices that that’s exactly where I excel. She points out the difference between the ordinary and the exquisite. I’m flattered but also inspired and encouraged. This woman really thinks I have something special. I’m truly honoured by her support and admiration for my work.
Japanese ‘Armour’ – Deanna Roberts © 2016
Then she says it… “You must come to Jingdezhen”.
“Jing de what?”, I asked.
“Jing-de-zhen”, she spells out. “It’s the porcelain capital of China and I usually go there twice a year for 2 to 3 months at a time”.
“Really?”, I ask… “Why?”
Diana sits me down and tells me how she came to meet Danyun and her father, the great master Liu, how she paints for him and is now venturing into sculpture. I’m in awe.
Diana leaves and I do some research online. There’s actually not a lot of information. I need to talk to her some more. I’m wondering if she’s serious about me going with her. Could she really be prepared, this amazingly talented woman whom I’ve only known for a few hours, to hold my hand all the way to the other side of the world, just for porcelain?
As it turns out Diana is quite prepared. We’re not exactly rolling in cash right now. I’m in the throws of dissolving my other business and seeing to become something more to do with art and business and run a whole lot of workshops around NLP for artists. It’s difficult. Do I spend the money we’ve saved for a rainy day or do I pass up this amazing opportunity to share in the experience of something wildly different and definitely out of the box?
After lengthy discussions and lots of red wine, it’s decided. I’m going. I’m excited!