All About Enamel

In the studio, I am exploring my drawings and ideas into 3D. After dabbling with patination, I instead decide to spend a few days working with enamel to develop the colour that I had started generating in my drawings.

OMI Jewels

Firstly with efcolor enamels on copper, fired at low temperatures of 160°C. I didn’t have high hopes, but the results were much better than expected even on domed surfaces. I tested a broad range of colours, translucent and opaque, both over engraved surfaces as well as trying out some primitive photo transfers. It was particularly successful when drawn back into with ink before re-firing and I enjoyed playing around layering them up with some of my artefacts and boxes.

It seemed natural to advance onto vitreous enamel, as I progressed again working with copper and shim, I echoed some of the historic cartouche, heraldry and scalloped lines I have been drawing and are so familiar to me as well as adding in some photos of rings, brooches and portraits. Again, I tried out a variety of colours and opacities that the SOJ had to offer.

I thoroughly revelled in the whole process, step by step and can see how it played to my strengths; The attention to detail but also the loss of control that could occur in the kiln. I am a long way off being able to reproduce the enamel works of Fabergé but I’m hooked by the historic qualities as well as the visual appeal. I intend to dig a little deeper into other artists working with enamel as well as explore further with decals, etching, engine-turning, drawing back into the enamel surface with graphite and more sophisticated methods to exploit photographic images.

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