I have been doing a few colour tests of enamels that are new to me. This one is called Forsythia and is manufactured by Milton Bridge Ceramic Colours Ltd but will be available from Vitrum Signum. More information on the Guild of Enamellers website
I really enjoy this time of year. Not only can I look forward to Christmas but the busy period is behind me, any galleries I supply need their new stock around mid-October. The garden and the moorland around my studio still have quite a lot of vivid autumn colour at the moment and my favourite Japanese flowering cherry is coming into flower, although it’s only just dropped this year’s leaves. It has done this some previous years and I love that it flowers over such an extended period.
I have spent some time last week emptying my display cabinets, partly because I was having a popup shop in Whitby last Thursday evening. It gave me the opportunity to review my work and make a few decisions about directions for next year.
I have reorganised my display so that all the plant based designs are now together. These include some pieces of crochet in wire, some cloisonné enamels and some of the pieces pierced from silver sheet inspired by my year as artist in residence at Whitby Museum.
These two pendants are all that remain of a collection of floral cloisonné enamels I made many years ago and I intend to do more of this in 2014, including teaching cloisonné enamelling techniques on a regular basis throughout the year. I am looking forward to building up a new collection before the autumn in time for an exhibition by members of the Guild of Enamellers at the Pannett Art Gallery next October.
Enamelling has been my passion for many years and I haven’t quite got over being awarded honorary membership of the Guild at the conference last April, which I think must have been one of the highlights of 2013 for me.
Here I am being presented with my certificate by the then Chair Jane Ball. I have also had three rings included in the ‘Heart of the Heat’ exhibition of enamelling in Birmingham and two enamelled beads selected for the book 1000 Beads due to be published next May by Lark Books (one of which will be on the cover). The emphasis of classes for 2014 will be very much on enamelling including enamelling on copper; enamelling on silver and on art clay silver and enamelling ‘in the round’ or onto curved surfaces.
I have been having a big tidy up in my studio, emptied all the display cabinets and gave everything a thorough clean. I have redisplayed some of my work and now have a whole cabinet and plant and flower inspired jewellery. These are two pieces, the first made from sterling silver sheet was inspired by Victorian pressed plants in Whitby museum and the other is crocheted in wire and is a much earlier piece of textile related jewellery.
I am in the process of planning my teaching schedule for 2014 and it will include plenty of opportunities to learn to enamel, both on silver and copper, as well as classes in the New Mokume Gane techniques – including the four day certification course developed by Aida Corporation, the manufacturers of Art Clay products. If you would be interested in taking a class then just use the comments box to contact me (I won’t publish your details). I look forward to seeing some of you in the new year!
21st & 22nd September 2013 Enamel painting with Tilly Wilkinson
Learn this traditional technique of enamel painting with Tilly Wlkinson. A former Chair of the Guild of Enamellers and skilled artist and teacher Tilly will introduce you to this beautiful and delicate process, creating detailed and many layered small works of art.
During this 2 day class you will learn how to create your own miniature piece of enamel painting. We will cover how to press form and prepare a suitable base from copper shim, how to apply a suitable enamel layer on which to paint and how to fire it. In addition we will look at techniques for transferring your chosen design onto the fired enamel surface prior to painting. Using finely ground enamel pigments you will be shown how to prepare them for your palette and how to apply them to your prepared base.
Apply now using the contact form (limited places available)
Enamel painting is suitable for representing a range of imagery from representational portraits to abstract designs. This class would be most suitable for those who already have a reasonable level of ability in either oil or watercolour painting and some enamelling experience.
It is £325 for the two days, including some basic materials – some extras can be purchased in class.
Today I have had a lovely day teaching Denise a little bit about enamelling on copper. She brought with her a small enamelled picture of trees by Harry Nicholson that she had bought some time ago and was intrigued by. She began by learning to sift thin layers of enamel onto small pieces of sheet copper, drawing into the layer of powder before firing it in the kiln at 800 degrees centigrade. Initially she used flux and white, using the copper oxides that form where the lines are drawn through the first layer to create patterns. Having established the basis of patterns she then added coloured enamels on some of her pieces. Denise finished with the largest piece where she allowed the view of the dale looking out through my studio window to inspire her and created this wonderful little landscape panel.
I know she enjoyed her day here and I always enjoy seeing how creative people can be within such a short time. I am sure this will be just the beginning of her adventure with enamel!
On Saturday 27th April 2013 I will be hosting a wonderful workshop – Landscape into Enamel with Tilly Wilkinson here in my studio on the North York Moors.
It will be £150 per person plus cost of copper available to purchase on the day.
Using a range of enamel techniques produce a landscape based wall panel from your own images.
You will incorporate a range of techniques including sifting, scrafitto and stencilling to produce your own personal response to a landscape that you love. You will learn how to prepare, counter enamel and finish your copper. A range of enamels are included in the price. Copper in various sizes will available to purchase on the day.
Over the past couple of years I have run the occasional workshop for couples to make their own wedding rings. This began when I was asked by a couple of friends, who then recommended me to their colleagues. I now offer this as part of my regular schedule as a one day workshop for couples to spend the day in the jewellery studio with me and make rings for each other, from start to finish.
I will take you step by step through the process and by the end of the day your rings will be beautifully finished and you will be impressed and happy with your results. Even if you have never done any jewellery making before, you will be able to make perfectly finished rings, adding a little extra meaning to your wedding day knowing that you have created these for each other.
My experience shows that simple wedding bands, made and finished perfectly are the most satisfying. If you would prefer something a little more complicated, it is possible, but please contact me to discuss your ideas to ensure they are possible in one day.
The standard workshop is £350 per couple and this includes sterling silver for two rings. If you would like to make your ring in gold then I am happy to discuss your requirements but the gold will be an additional cost. Please be aware that gold prices fluctuate on a daily basis and I would require payment in advance before ordering your materials. I would suggest that perhaps you make an appointment to visit the studio and discuss your requirements in greater detail if you want to make your wedding rings in gold.
I include tea and coffee throughout the day but you will need to bring your own packed lunch.
If you would like more information or to make a booking please email me
What could be more special and romantic than spending a day creating your own rings? My workshop is located in the beautiful landscape of the North York Moors near to Whitby, perfect for a romantic weekend away. This is a fun and relaxed day for anyone planning their unique handmade wedding – even complete beginners.
Terms and conditions
The studio is not currently wheelchair accessible and students with disabilities should enquire about the suitability of the courses prior to booking. If you book a class and you know you have mobility or other issues which may impact on your ability to attend, then subsequently cancel, no refund will be given. It is your responsibility to ensure you fully understand our accessibility limitations before you book.
Wedding Rings – 50% deposit is required to secure the date to make your own wedding rings and is non-refundable. If you subsequently cancel the booking, no refund will be given. If you have made arrangements to make your ring in gold then payment for the metal for your rings will be required in advance. If, for any reason you cancel your booking No cash refund will be given for metal if it has already been purchased. If the metal has not been purchased a full refund will be given for the metal price quoted.
If you are booked on a class, wedding ring day or course and you do not turn up on the day for any reason, no refund will be given. If you turn up and are considered to be incapable of working safely due to alcohol, drugs or general ill-health or fatigue, you will be excluded from the class with no refund. I reserve the right to exclude any student I feel may be a danger to themselves or other students.
If due to unforeseen circumstances a course has to be cancelled by me, you will be offered an alternative date or a refund. You will be given as much notice as possible, however, I cannot be held responsible for your travel or accommodation costs.