Sunday, December 30, 2012

enamelathon


Our plucky heroine has has a busy weekend in the workroom...

You wouldn't think that bending tiny soft wires that are mostly under a cm long would be exhausting, and take hours... sometimes I feel like wirebending is like the layout and cutting part of sewing, it takes FOREVER and is pretty stressful to get just right, but once that part is complete, the rest of the process, thought time consuming, is (hopefully) straightforward...

well begun and more than halfway done... which is a good thing 'cos I am really tired! This shows some of the black background enamel before the third background firing. At this point I have lost count of how many times this has been in the kiln. It will need at least another five or six firings before it gets ground smooth and flash fired...

By after midnight was getting to the end of my second wind, only two more firings left to do (fingers crosssed). I really want to finish this tonight... Fire arts are playing with fire, even if it is the "tame" kind that comes out of a wall socket... and finally, by around a quarter to 2 in the wee small hours, it was finished, and our plucky heroine turned off the kiln and went to go be horizontal for a while...
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Always need to have at least one other thing in the works whilst enameling is happening, as once the kiln is hot there is no reason not to use it, and there is as much more "waiting for the enamel to be dry enough to fire" time as there is active prep and firing time.

This time I decided to try an experiment and came up with this tiny enamel cabachon with the glyph for a dressmaker form; Limoges painted enamel, on a backing of silver enameled in a warm grey. I am considering building a setting for it and maybe putting it in my long dormant Etsy shop or find a buyer for it, as it is the jewelry equivalent of a "muslin" for the finished more complex piece. I am still working on the design of a sewing related charm necklace, and this will be one of the many techniques used...
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Just found this video ; click to open, well worth watching for the clip at the beginning, which shows the dance of enamel being made in factory...  I have never seen this aspect of the process before. Oh my how I do love the enamels that Soyer makes in France; such wonderful colors! I recently ordered a new "blue-black" shade that is exactly what it sounds like, a deep indigo that reads like black. (wish I could afford to buy myriads of their enamels, which I order from their US distributor Bovano of Cheshire)

2 comments:

  1. This is beautiful. Thanks for showing the steps.

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  2. Thank you Peg! I figure that what I do is a fairly esoteric art form, that seeing how it goes together is interesting for folks, and it makes a good record for me of particular pieces...

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