Enamel tests

T253 on ACS, Fine Silver and copper

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

Learn to enamel

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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!

Heat is on – exhibition at the Pannett Gallery, Whitby

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A group of us are preparing for the Guild of Enamellers exhibition at the Pannett Gallery in Whitby. It includes work from members all over the country, Glasgow to Hastings, the Wirral to Whitby and the official opening takes place on Friday 6th July 2012 at 7pm. Please leave a comment if you would an invitation.

The exhibition is open 9.30 to 4.30 daily (closed Mondays) and runs until Sunday 12 August 2012.
There will be a number of enamelling workshops running in conjunction with the exhibition, some in my studio a out 12 miles from Whitby and others in the Museum (adjoining the gallery). It is essential to book in advance as limited places are available each day. For more information email me

The up and coming class with Tilly Wilkinson is full but if you would like to do this please get in touch. If there is enough interest there is a chance we could run this again.

**Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th July 2012 Special Two Day Enamelling workshop with Guest Tutor Tilly Wilkinson
While the Guild of Enamellers Exhibition is on at the Pannett Art Gallery in Whitby

Images into enamel with Tilly Wilkinson
Enamelling on copper and steel using riso screens. Learn how to make your own silk screens to produce a range of images, either from existing illustrations/ photographs or from your own drawings. Produce colourful and beautiful wall panels from these images on either copper or steel. Suitable for those who are new to enamelling or those with some enamelling experience. A range of ready made screens will also be available for you to use. There will be a charge for copper and steel used during the course. The maximum size of copper or steel will be 100mm x 100mm, smaller pieces will be available. Riso screen material will be charged at £3.50 per A4 sheet. Enamels and equipment are included in the course fee.
Course fee £150 per person for the weekend

21st July 2012 Introduction to Enamelling in the round – Embellish silver beads £170

28th and 29th July 2012 Plique a jour enamel with art clay silver £340 two day course On the first day you will design and make silver earrings, learning the basic principles of design for plique a jour enamel and firing and finishing them ready for the second day. On day two you will learn to prepare the enamel and to apply it, firing and gradually building up the cells until they are filled. You will then give the pieces a final finish and add the findings ready to wear. The course includes small amounts of three enamel colours, enough to complete the project.

These two introductory courses are great value – perfect opportunity to try out enamelling!
Tuesday 7th August Introduction to cloisonné enamelling at Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby –
£55 per person

Saturday 11th August 2012 Introduction to enamelling on copper at Pannett Art Gallery with Tilly Wilkinson – £55 per person

I also run metal clay classes, here are a few dates –

Saturday 18th August 2012 Introduction to Art Clay Silver £145
Saturday 8th September 2012 Introduction to Art Clay Silver £145
Saturday 22nd September 2012 Introduction to Art Clay Silver £145

Day 2 of Open Studios

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Day 2 and I am about to go and open up early. I have a few jobs to finish and want to do a bit of tweaking to my displays. I finished off a few silver cores to some new charm beads yesterday so need to display them in pride of place. I also want a bit of time to set up today’s demonstration on my work table.
I will be also open on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June 2012 and also be open during the week 11th to 14th June by appointment. During Open Studios I will be demonstrating a variety of techniques during the day, starting at 11am – including making unique silver jewellery using art clay silver.

The road from Egton to Glaisdale is going to be closed near Beggars Bridge for three weeks during the period of Open Studios. To get to Glaisdale you will have to approach via Lealholm or Rosedale. This affects anyone intending to visit – but it will be worth the trip to see my wonderful new studio, watch demos and buy something from my new ranges of work.

Whitby Abbey and moths

I have spent the day working on three enamel panels. I had made a sketch and had ideas for these some time ago but needed some free time to work on them.

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These images are built up in layers of different colours, firing each layer and allowing it to cool before continuing.

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I used a combination of techniques, making a stencil in paper of the outline of the abbey and stippling, painting and wet laying enamels.

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It is the first time I have had the big kiln running for ages and it is hot and tiring work lifting these panels in and out. It was an interesting project to work on and I think the next thing I need to do are some paintings of moths and butterflies.

Wet packing enamel onto fine silver jewellery

Today I have made a little video clip of me wet laying enamel onto the surface of a small piece of silver. Here is the piece at the end of the torch firing process. I will now have to work out how to add video clips to my blog so that I can share the whole thing 🙂

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Beginners Guide to Enamelling

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For anyone interested in learning to enamel I can highly recommend this book by Dorothy Cockrell. She is a longstanding member of the Guild of Enamellers and editor of the Guild’s quarterly journal. She writes in a very clear, no-nonsense style and this is a well illustrated book, with plenty of projects to get you started.

I would also recommend you to join the Guild even as a complete beginner, as joining will bring you into contact with such an enthusiastic bunch of people, generously willing to share their knowledge at regional meetings and other Guild events. A number of members run classes, often aimed at beginners and at introductory level. If you would like any further information then either have a look at the Guild website or email me.