The Journey of an Iris
The Journey of an Iris
From the garden To the easel Then the artist Makes it yours

Why we use this brush-

Unlike watercolor, oil and most other paintbrushes, Sumi brushes are composed of two separate parts. The central core, which determines the height and basic function of the brush, is made of relatively stiff hairs gathered to form a tapered point. The outer wrapping consists of softer hairs which are selected for their greater water-holding capacity and for facilitating smooth strokes. The hairs of the inner core and of the outer wrapping are the same length and come to a point when dipped into water. The hair structure ensures smooth maneuverability and dynamic strokes whether light or heavy pressure is applied. Because of the sensitivity of sumi to the lack of absorbency inherent in synthetic brushes, the proportion of natural hair to synthetic hair must be higher than would be found in Western brushes. If there is too little natural hair, the paint will collect at the tip of the brush rather than remain in the belly. The result will be too much paint deposited at the beginning of the brushstroke and not enough at the end.

How we use the Sumi brush-

Our artist along with the owners develop a pattern. Each pattern is a series of carefully planned strokes. No templates or stencils are used. The patterns are practiced and committed to memory. The artist paints the pattern again and again. Each piece is alike and yet different, like flowers in a field. Influenced by the energy of Early American cobalt decoration and with a love of the Japanese brush stroke, years ago, Priscilla Palmer adapted this painting style to the round surfaced pots. Once applied, there is no “erasing”. Each stroke is a commitment.

The Sumi method is ancient art and the Iris is an ancient flower

The iris’s history is rich, dating back to Ancient Greek times when the Greek Goddess Iris, the messenger of the gods and the personification of the rainbow, acted as the link between heaven and earth. Purple irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the Goddess to guide the dead in their journey. Ancient Egyptian kings marveled in the iris’s exotic nature, and drawings have been found of the flower in a number of Egyptian palaces. During the Middle Ages, the meaning of irises became linked to the French monarchy, and the Fleur-de-lis eventually became the recognized national symbol of France. From their earliest years, irises were used to make perfume and as a medicinal remedy. Today, they are primarily seen in gardens, in bouquets, and in the wild all over the world.

“It does seem that the iris lends itself with such grace to all of our pottery lines – dinnerware, bakeware, kitchen ware, lamps, clocks, bathroom accessories, etc. Something in the strength and delicacy of this special flower speaks to our customers’ hearts ” P. Palmer

When you purchase Emerson Creek Pottery you are getting a unique work of art. It is impossible for any two pieces to be alike because each piece is hand crafted and decorated by a human being, not a machine. We are very proud of our craft. We delight in making pottery here in Virginia and sharing it with you. There is only one Emerson Creek Pottery.

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