Sunday, July 24, 2016

tiny and tinier...

in which our plucky heroine continues to push the envelope and shares some process pictures of the work that has happened here in the last two weeks...

Been working on some SCA peerage regalia, grateful that the weather has been surprisingly cooperative (working in front of a hot 1500°F kiln is a treat in the winter, but less pleasant in the heat of summer. The last few days, unusually cool and cloudy for July, have been a respite...

This Laurel enamel is filled enough that the next step will be hand grinding the surface down to a smooth contour.

Some time and careful work with the alundum stone really smooths out the surface contour; the rough surface will be cleaned with a fiberglass brush and then fired in the kiln to melt the glass to smooth again. Any remaining irregularity can then have small amounts of enamel added in a few more firings to fill any remaining irregularity in the contour

adding enamel in the shallow areas of the piece

This enamel is small, about 1" diameter. I decided to add central veins to the tiny leaves, which starts by adding some painting enamel* to the surface. Even using a 10/0 brush, the enamel goes on in fairly large irregular splotches...

The next step is to use a clean damp paintbrush to push the painting enamel into a more refined shape, detailing the center of the leaves...

One last trip into the kiln, to fuse the painting enamel to the surface, and my work on the enamel is done. Next step will be to create a setting so this can be worn as a pendant jewel

and the finished enamel as set: in a simple setting with a single pearl drop.

But in fact, I actually created a matched set of two medallions... as requested, for Christiana and Aelisia

and here they are as finished, prior to being sent on their way! Enamels are both 25mm (1") in diameter, cloisonne with limoges detailing, in simple silver settings with pendant freshwater pearls

and once those were completed, it was time to be starting on another tiny peerage enamel, this time a Pelican. This enamel is even smaller than the previous set; this one is just under 21mm in diameter (the size of a US nickel coin). Am working on this one as a joint project with my former studio partner Bill Dawson who will be creating the elaborate setting with a Laurel wreath surround, and set with gems and pearls.

This is probably the smallest Pelican enamel I have done so far in my many years of creating regalia... I'm pretty chuffed at the amount of detail I managed to get with the cloisonné wires at this scale.

July SMART goals
1 pewter casting Thora cuff trim bag of hangers
2 charter #12 Thora trim bands yard waste bin
3 charter #13 pruned apple tree bag to Goodwill
4 chicken hurdles hem rayon dress bag to Goodwill
5 twin Laurel enamels- bag to Goodwill
6 tiny Pelican enamel - galvanised mesh
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* Vitreous enamel is ground glass, that is applied to metal and fused at high temperatures. Doing this is one of my primary art forms, which I use to create jewelery and regalia. Regular enamel has the consistency of fine beach sand, and I work with it dampened with water, for safety and technique. Painting enamel has the consistency of talcum powder, I work with it dampened with lavender oil, which allows it to behave more like a substance halfway between paint and sand.


  1. I had to stop in to tell you how I admire your workmanship (and patience!) The enamels are just gorgeous!

  2. beautiful!!! and the tiny detail work is so impressive!!

  3. This is awesome work! So beautiful. The recipients are VERY lucky.

  4. Amazing pieces. Such attention to detail. Fantastic job.