Joan Z Mack

Joan Mack of North in Mathews County has been painting on china for about 14 years, but has been interested in the art since she was a teen-ager in Pennsylvania.

“I read an article about a woman who painted on china and I was fascinated. I have been painting and sketching from childhood. A pencil and pad were my toys.”

She put the idea on hold, though, and it was years later when she and her husband, Chester, a retired Navy captain, were living in Norfolk that it came back.

“I saw another article about Dorothy Berryman of Virginia Beach, who had been teaching china painting for 25 years. My husband urged me to call her because he knew I had been interested for years.

“I hesitated because it was late in the fall of 1975 and we were moving to Mathews County the following March, but he insisted and I called her that day.

“I had to have a crash course so I started with the basic fundamentals and learning about mineral paints, which are used in painting china. I took classes once a week for about six weeks and then doubled up with classes every Tuesday and Thursday.

“She was very helpful. I’d come armed with lots of questions and she’d find the answers.”

Before she left for Mathews, where she and her husband started Mack’s Blueberry Farm, her instructor gave her a list of books on the art.

“I ordered them and I was on my own. It’s all I do now; I never went back to oils and acrylics.”