Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Traditional color

Enameling is a very old technique of adding color to metal, so of course it is one of the methods we were able to try out during Tim McCreight's color workshop. I waited until I got home to do my enameling.

For some reason, my enameled pieces never photograph very well. These are much cleaner than they look.

The single colored piece is created by sifting enamel onto the silver in an even layer. The multi-colored piece is made by mixing the powdered enamel with water and an enamel adhesive; then wet-packing it into the recessed areas.

Wet packing often involves using a mini-spoon type tool or a brush. I took a basic enameling class from Leslie Tieke in Tennessee and she had us use straws that were cut to a point on one end. They worked great (and are much cheaper.)

Currently I'm reading Linda Darty's book, The Art of Enameling. I plan on reading every single word (I told you I was anal.) There's lots of good information that is very clearly written. My order for copper just came the other day as I plan on trying out as many techniques from the book as I can. Copper is cheaper.

I was also pleasantly surprised when I came across several enameled pieces by Adrienne Grafton in Ms Darty's book. (One is on the back cover. She also wrote an article in the book on making a cloisonne' brooch.) Adrienne use to have a studio across the hall from me at the Transit Building but she relocated her studio to Shadyside. She is currently teaching an ongoing enameling class in New Castle, Pa.

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