Karen Christine Hibbard

My Grandmother's China Paint Box on the Porch before opening

This is my Grandmother’s china paint box. She showed it to me one hot summer when I was rummaging around in the boxes in her cellar. The wooden box was made by my Uncle Conrad, Great Grandmother Bryan’s youngest brother who lived out at the lake (Nuangola) and had one arm and a conch shell doorstop. My mother always said of my Great Grandmother’s sister Dimer (originally Dagmar and by the 1930 census Dimer as it was said) that she lived out at the lake with those boys. The boys were her single brothers Conrad, Christian and Nelson and Cousin Pete, who was probably her son, some say by Jack Walters. Uncle Conrad (pronounced Conerd) was quite the turtle catcher and Dimer cooked them up. Uncle Conrad lost his arm in the mines when he was young.
My grandmother was an artist. She painted mostly still lifes and landscapes. she was very old she pared her stories down to just one, which I think must have been the most significant. It went like this: When I was 16 I could have gone up to the court house and gotten a certificate to teach school but my father said Carolina you are going to college. So she did, I think that her years away at East Stroudsburg were some of her most memorial. She studied Art.
In addition to paintings on canvas she painted china. It was a painstaking process where she would paint layers and then take the pieces up to the nuns at to fire, and then paint more layers until she was satisfied with the piece.
These were her paints. There are dry colors in glass vials that she would mix with various liquids. When she showed me these paints, years ago there were also shallow pans of gold which have gone missing.
I acquired the box after she died from my Aunt Mary. It has moved with me for some 30 years. I cherish it. It brings back the memory of Nana’s stories.