Sunday 21 August 2011

A new string to my bow...

Yesterday I spent the day at an introductory kiln enameling workshop at Flux 'n' Flame and had loads of fun and a very productive time. I think I'm going to enjoy enameling!

There were only 2 of us in the group...say hello to Sally our tutor and Pam my classmate.

Pam's been making jewellery for many years and like myself works with metal clay. Because we were both  'au fais' with kilns and workshops, once Sally had given us the basics we were able to dive in and get creative. Having such a small group was great - we all hit it off which meant we had a lot of fun and had the time and space to bounce ideas off each other. 

So here's a closer look at a few of my first creations...

I'll swear all the little glass stringers I used on that blue square were black so how did some turn out that mauve colour? I guess have a lot to learn about the properties of glass! I think the oval is quite pretty - just a  shame I forgot to drill it first (doh!) but I'm sure I can do something with an enamel cabochon.

These were playing with copper wire embedded in the enamel and I'm looking forward to developing this technique and recycling some of my wire scraps while I'm at it.

Matched pairs...well almost anyway. We were firing these separately and I obviously mistimed the blue ones. I did re-fire them to try and get the colour the same but they started frying a bit around the edges. It only takes minutes to melt the enamel and just a few seconds can make a visible difference...all part of the learning process. I do like the fact that they look like grumpy little faces though. One of the burgundy ones isn't quite fired enough but I'll sort that when I fire up my own kiln.

And then of course there's the obligatory disaster...

This one fell off its trivet in the kiln - it started life as straight black lines on yellow, and the piece of Millefiore glass I'd added all but slid off. That said, I dropped it after I'd photographed it and the 'lump' broke off so I may well re-fire it and see what happens. One of the things I loved about the day was that when things didn't go to plan you could just change the plan.

So there you go - not exactly refined masterpieces but good enough for me to want to get stuck in and try and develop a style of my own with this medium. It's always good to be able to add a new string to your bow and for someone like me who loves colour, enamel is a perfect fit. If anyone is thinking of having a go, I'd thoroughly recommend it - great fun and quick results.



  1. Looks like you had a great time and made some new friends. I would say that was a very productive day. I really like the square one it sort of looks like Asian writing.

  2. These are pretty! Enamelling is fun isn't it. I actually quite like the effect you got on your "disaster" piece!

  3. This looks like such fun! Great job :)


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