• Ren Lewis


Herend, popular for it's beautiful hand-painted porcelain, hosted an event at William Ashley in Toronto, and I was lucky enough to attend and see first-hand the incredible effort that goes into their collections.

Dear Amazing Reader,

Ever since I turned 30, I started developing this love for dinnerware, china and porcelain. It may be because my appreciation for Afternoon Tea on a whole just skyrocketed when we hosted one last year for the Royal Wedding- or maybe I'm just getting older, and this is a sign!

When I was invited to attend a plate painting workshop hosted by Herend Canada by my amazing friend at William Ashley, my first though was "OMG...... YES!" followed by a big.... "Yikes! But now my artistic abilities, which are very limited, will be seen in public!" In the end, the excitement to watch a Herend Artist at work definitely outweighed my personal artistic insecurities.

“Herend was founded in 1826- yes friends that's almost 200 years ago!”

Herend is a Hungarian Procelain manufacturer that was founded in 1826. Yes friends, that's almost 200 years ago! As an entrepreneur , I am absolutely fascinated by businesess that have survived centuries. To me, it speaks of excellence. I mean, just think about it, for a business to survive through a couple hundred years shows an ability to innovate, adapt, and stay relevant across many generations. I learned that Herend has instituted it's own school in Hungary, where all aspiring artists have to attend and graduate from before they can become an official Herend Artist, so it's kind of a big deal! But this is no easy feat. Herend has over 4000 decor styles and patterns. Some of their artists specialize in flower decor, while others specialize in animal figurines, which is insanely difficult and involves being able to paint intricate patterns on uneven surfaces. Just check out this Lion and tell me, how long do you think it would take you to paint something like this!? ( me- the rest of my life lol)

Herend has awakened my appreciation for art.

Herend is also known for giving some really beautiful and timeless gifts, to some very special people. On the eve of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, Hungary formally presented Royal Garden dinnerware as the country's official gift to the royal couple! The beautiful pattern that includes hues of lilacs, greens and yellows was created by Herend specifically for William and Kate, which was a modern interpretation of their classic Queen Victoria pattern, which was actually purchased in 1851 by the Queen herself after seeing it in London at the first World's Fair. If you know me, I am one of those crazy people that love the Royal Family ( maybe a little too much lol) If you click my explore button on Instagram you would basically just see a bunch pictures of Kate & Meghan fashion! What can I say...it's my guilty pleasure. So OBVIOUSLY, I just had to photograph this special collection!

Now on to the painting. My teacher was artist Herend Artist Anita Palkovics. She is a generational Herend artist. Her mother first worked with Herend and Anita herself has been trained and working with them for just over nine years. She made this all look so effortless and easy, while at the same time exhibiting such great skill in controlling the brush and using light and harder pressure and paint amount in different areas. The paints are all made using natural ingredients- I believe the yellow had turmeric in it, and each colour was mixed fresh for us on site. After the paint is made, it was place on a palette for us with turpentine and an oil, and then had to be mixed again with these two ingredients to create the right consistency to paint on porcelain. On the plate it self was an and outline of the flower we were painting so that we would have a guide to follow along. And colour by colour- we were off! Following Anita's careful instructions and under her guidance, our wobbly fingers did the best they could to follow her steps. Some of us had a knack for it, some (me! lol) not so much. But it was so fun to see how other people interpreted her instructions and to see how the same flower can come out in so many different way based on who is painting it!

This image was taken from William Ashley's Twitter Page
This is Anita! Such talented lady! This image was taken from William Ashley's Twitter Page

So now here's the kind of sad part about this blog. I don't actually have an up close photo of how my plate turned out, which in all honesty was not too bad, considering it was my first time ever painting a plate. I will update this blog shortly, when I have a chance to visit William Ashley to pick it up so you can check it out, but it was definitely such a special experience! Here's a group pick of all of our masterpieces!

Artists in Training! This photo was taken from William Ashley's Twitter

I hope Herend's passion for art and the work that goes behind crafting their beautiful collections makes you hold you tea vessels a little tighter today! So much work goes into creating a perfect tea experience and to see the love and care behind the scenes of each step, right down to the vessels we drink out of, remind me of how truly luxurious being able to sit down and enjoy a cuppa really is!

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