I am starting to get the hang of the enamelling technique, still, I’ve decided I’m not a fan. As much as I love how it looks in others’ work; Rachel Brown, Steffi Gotze and Danielle Embry for example have such stunning enamel work (see below), I’m not sure I can do enamel justice. I know I cannot master a technique overnight but enamel needs to be used within these two final pieces for The Street brief so I’m lacking confidence as the deadline seems to be flying in!
I have made some progress this week though both with my enamel samples and sketchbook designs (as I was having a bit of a creative block the last couple of weeks!). I’m not over-firing the enamel anymore which is definitely progress! Below are some shots of enamel samples I’ve been doing (as we need 6 experimental enamel techniques I’ve been having a little play around). I’m not great when it comes to samples, possibly because I know it’s a ‘sample’ I don’t want to put in so much effort. The sampling stage for me is really just to work out the steps I will take and what does/doesn’t and change it so it does work or look right when the time comes to do the final piece, but now is the time to really put the samples together so this is something I am going to try hart to change.
For this quick sample I just out of copper a simple, geometric shape and domed it. I sprinkled some enamel powder inside the dome then broke up some enamel rods and dropped them inside, layering and crossing them over. This is the end result; a mess basically. I had attempted to create a grid type pattern with them on a flat piece of copper I had but they kept rolling off and out of place.
These are over fired, crinkle copper pieces. I used a very fine copper and put it through a corrugated roller to create the effect and then added enamel powder. Left these in a little too long, I suppose I forgot they were much thinner than the usual copper I use. Here I used a contrast of yellow and burgundy.
Another geometric cut out where I sprinkled enamel powder on top and then placed a blue enamel cube in the centre. The cube didn’t melt fully which has given some depth. I like the results achieved using these little cubes!
In the first image I have mixed a burgundy and yellow together and used some mesh wire to create a pattern on the piece. The middle is just a thinner piece of copper which I crumpled up. I sprinkled on the enamel powder and also dropped ‘blobs’ of enamel into the centre creating this effect. The last piece was a super quick sample of piercing and doming then enamelling.
These quick samples were all done with wet enamel. The first on binding wire which I tried to fold into square shapes then fan out, the second I applied a heavy layer of wet enamel to a piece of reticulated copper and the last two pieces of copper mesh has been dipped in the wet enamel. I don’t like the wet enamels at all.
Below, I am playing with some sketchbook design work. It is still to be adapted but I am liking the direction I am going in with this. I feel it could add a lot of depth to a piece.