New Mokume Gane

I have had a very busy few weeks.  One of the highlights has to be teaching the New Mokume Gane certification course to the very talented Lesley Messam.  This week we have had confirmation from Japan that she passed her exam.  Here are the pieces she made on the course and congratulations to Lesley and thanks for all the fun and friendship too!Image

I am planning to teach this in the Autumn, just need to sort out dates.  There will only be two or three places available, to ensure everyone gets adequate attention and that the tutor (me) is not overloaded!  I am also intending to run the course as two x two day sessions.  It is a very intensive four days and I would say that you have to be prepared to work very hard, especially at the sanding and polishing.  If you are interested then please contact me via the comments box (I won’t publish your comments).

New year and New Mokume Gane courses

As part of my programme for 2014 I am going to be teaching the New Mokume Gane techniques using Art Clay Silver and Art Clay Copper. I am at present the only instructor in the UK who has taken this course devised by Aida Corporation in Japan so this is a unique opportunity to learn some of these fabulous techniques. Only those with the full Art Clay diploma will be eligible to apply for certification but I am happy to teach projects and familiarisation courses for those who would like to begin their journey. I also teach the art clay diploma courses by arrangement so please use the comment form if you would be interested in doing any of these. More details about the New Mokume Gane course can be found on my website

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Planning new classes for 2014

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.

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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.

20131203-074705.jpg This is one of my display cases from Thursday evening in Beckett’s Coffee Shop. I have always been inspired by plants and find leaves and flowers often appear in my work.

20131203-074959.jpg 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.

20131203-075748.jpg 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.

20131203-080804.jpg 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.

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I will also be teaching classes in New Mokume Gane.

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If you are interested in taking a class just send me a message using the comments box (I won’t publish it). Let me know what it is you are interested in learning. I look forward to hearing from you …

Make your own Wedding rings

I have been asked on a few occasions to help couples to make their own wedding rings. Here in my studio near Whitby on the North York Moors I have all the tools and equipment you need and can help you to create your own special and unique rings for each other. On Saturday I spent a lovely day helping Nicole and Jamie make each other a wedding ring in sterling silver.

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We began the day with coffee and a discussions about the width, thickness and finish of the rings and then Nicole and Jamie learned how to use a piercing saw to cut their silver strip, working out the required length and cutting and filing it. They annealed it and while the silver strips were in the pickle they had a few attempts at stamping a little star punch into copper sheet – and then onto the silver strips. They annealed and pickled them again before forming the basic ring shapes and soldering the join with silver solder

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Once they were happy with the soldered seams they filed and sanded all the surfaces.

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After getting them to their chosen finish Nicole decided to oxidise the ring Jamie had made her to make the star punch marks stand out more

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Here are their lovely rings – I am now going to send them off for hallmarking ready for their big day at the beginning of May. Thanks to them both for a thoroughly enjoyable day and best wishes to them for their future together.

Landscape into 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.

Tilly is a former Chair of the Guild of Enamellers and an inspiring teacher of this fascinating medium. Email Lynne for more information and to book your place.

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Silver Birches, enamel on copper by Tilly Wilkinson

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Memories of Scampston, enamel on copper by Tilly Wilkinson