Starting off with Enamels

Cloisonne enamel on copper with silver chain.

Cloisonne enamel on copper with silver chain.

Cloisonne enamel on copper with silver chain.

Cloisonne enamel on copper with silver chain.

Cloisonne enamel on copper with silver chain.

Cloisonne enamel on copper with silver chain.

A few years ago, when I was in the last semester of my BA degree, I took a metals class to fill my final elective requirement and I was instantly hooked. Even though it would mean staying an additional two years beyond the graduate program I had just been accepted into, I decided I had to continue to pursue metals. I had found what I was truly passionate for.

My first metals class was Enameling, with an amazing and inspirational French woman named Elise Preiss. With a former background in painting and drawing, enameling was a medium where I could not only integrate my experience with line, color, and imagery, but also begin a gentle transition into three-dimensional work while still keeping one foot planted in my two-dimensional comfort zone.

Enameling is a process by which glass is fused to a metal surface by heating enamel powder in a kiln. The silver or copper cloisonné wires are fused to the ground coat of enamel, and then additional layers are wet-packed on top until the enamel reaches the height of the cloisonné wire. After stoning the enamel down to a flat, even surface, the piece is flash-fired to quickly re-gloss the surface.

I worked on all three of these pendants simultaneously, although only two share similar imagery. The first two have power lines and telephone poles, to represent different feelings that living in an urban environment can inspire. The final pendant was an representation of a nuclear cloud.

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