I have recently been working on a new series of pieces of jewellery. These are enamel on silver and involve a combination of different techniques. I have created photopolymer printing plates with fragments of old text and in some of the piece you can clearly see words beneath the transparent enamels, on other pieces the text is not quite so apparent. This pendant is quite small, only 25mm x 17.5mm
Today I have had another fun day teaching Steph a bit about cloisonné enamel on silver. The workshop was a present from her husband so she didn’t really know what to expect although she had done some basic enamelling on copper a few years ago, so knew a little about enamel.
We began by selecting shapes and sketching a little pattern each for the wires before cutting and fixing them into place. We then prepared some enamel colours by grinding and washing them (although, as usual, I had some prepared ready for us to use). Steph decided she liked one of my little bird pendant samples so explained how to break the pattern down to make the fine silver wire shapes in sections.
At the end of the day Steph had made a little bird pendant; a pendant with an abstract pattern and earrings to match it and here she is wearing all her beautiful work.
Today I have been teaching an introduction to cloisonné enamelling techniques. My student Nicky already has experience in making silver jewellery and bezel setting stones so rather than using pre-made silver blanks I suggested she texture some small pieces of silver sheet to enamel onto. She cut out, annealed, pickled and textured some silver and then learned to apply enamel by the wet packing method.
I showed her how to grind and wash her enamel and she prepared the first of her colours and then I did some more while she made her little shapes in fine silver wire. For one of her pieces she packed the enamel into a deep recess she had made using the rolling mill and then dried and fired it. For the second piece she used fine silver wire flattened into a thin ribbon and shaped it and laid it onto the surface of her silver before wet packing the first coat of enamel around it. For the third piece she attached fine silver round wire shapes to the surface of her piece using Art Clay Silver overlay paste, firing then in the kiln to secure them. She then wet packed her enamels around them and said that this was easier to enamel although the preparation of the silver attaching the wires takes a bit longer. After applying a few coats of enamel and counter enamel she ground the surface smooth, washed and brushed them before giving them a quick final final to get the gloss surface back.
Here are her pieces and you can see she achieved great accuracy and really good transparency of her enamels, showing the textured surfaces of the silver through. She worked very hard during the day but has learned a lot and I am confident that she will enjoy taking this further.
If you would like to learn something about enamelling then make a date during May as quite a few members of the Guild of Enamellers are running workshops to promote the craft. I also have classes listed or you can email me for bookings or more information.
Today I have been in the studio finishing a small batch of enamelled silver jewellery.
These tiny leaves are part of one of my collections of jewellery, a range that includes three different sizes of pendants and stud earrings as well as these beautiful tiny leaf drop earrings. They are very lightweight and easy to wear and I make them in a wide range of colours, shifting the tones I use with the seasons. They are precious little things and are inspired by the wild natural landscape around my studio where often a few leaves hang tenuously to their through the autumn and winter, moving in the wind and rain. I like the idea of translating movement into jewellery so these tremble prettily on their wires while they are being worn.
These will be on their way to Marisa Arna Jewellery in Essex but other colours are available together with matching pendants, contact Lynne is you are interested in purchasing some direct from her.
You could also book a one day course with Lynne and learn how to wet lay enamel and make your own unique piece of enamelled silver jewellery. For more details on courses see Lynne’s website or contact Lynne