Got a hankering to try out some experimental enameling? Join us to find out how straightforward and un-fussy enameling can be. We’re going to work on all types of steel – including that which we find on the street – to make beautifully enamelled jewels and objects, with the addition of porcelain enamel that will be applied in its liquid form.
I always look forward to these classes because of the way people surprise themselves when confronted with a medium that can be used in such diverse ways; behaving like watercolor, spray paint or even sand. Its versatility enables each maker to leverage their mastery in traditional materials – say even pencil and markers – and then make permanent the results by literally baking them on.
And hey, it’s in “beautiful, downtown Oakland, California!”
(Thanks to Roman Mars of the 99% Invisible podcast for being the indelible voice in my head for that line 😉 )
Announcing more stuff! Here’s some other things that I’ll be doing over the coming months:
March: Starting March 18th I’ll be in an exhibition curated by the irrepressible Maggie Smith (not the dame, but a grande dame) called Tech in Craft. So far we have two dates, from the 18th-27th of March at Libbie Mill Library, Henrico Co Virginia, and then directly after at CodeVA’s Eureka Workshop, Richmond VA until May 5th. These are non-traditional exhibitions venues as this series of exhibits is focused on education, so I can’t wait to see what people have to say! More on this shortly.
Studio disruption – Also in March we’ll be having our basement – aka my studio space – waterproofed. On the place side I won’t have to navigate through the space on pontoons during the wet season (and being Seattle, it rains only a paltry nine months.) but on the down side I have to pack up the studio to keep the sensitive equipment – and the sandblaster – away from the dust. (It is well timed to sort out the taxes though…)
May: From the 9th of May I’ll have work in a show at the new Studio 2017 Project Space in Sydney organised by the impressive Sarah Heyward, entitled:
FORCES: Strength and Fluidity in contemporary jewellery and object practice using steel – the dirty metal
Also in May: Along with everyone else I’ll be at the SNAG Conference in New Orleans – come along to the Trunk Show where I’ll have my little collection (including some of the RESISTance) laid out and bag yourself a pretty.
July: I’ll be speaking at the Association for Contemporary Jewellery’s 20:20 Visions Conference in Sheffield in the UK. My presentation will be on my work, and the political turn it has taken which began at a residency I undertook at the University of the West of England in 2011.
August: It’s looking very likely that I’ll head over to Arrowmont for the Enamel Society Conference, where you can see my previously mentioned latest attempt at curating, the exhibition Plate Glass.
At Arrowmont I’ll also have works in the exhibition Alchemy4, the 16th Juried International Enamel Exhibition, sponsored by the Enamelist Society. So please come along to see that too! I plan to be there for the opening on the 4th of August. After Gatlinburg the show will tour, first to the Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH and then beginning early in 2018 it will be exhibited at the National Ornamental Metals Museum, Memphis, TN.
September: In the first week of this month I’ll be teaching an enameling workshop as a part of the Radical Enameling Workshop series presented by the Center for Enamel Art at The Crucible in Oakland, California.
Well friends, there are going to be 4 artists who take two weeks each to give an intro to their area of jewellery and metalsmithing specialty. My two weeks will be working with enamel, and how you can add that to the arsenal of jewellery-making techniques. The other artists involved are Pratt regulars: Anne Randall, Julia Harrison and Sharrey Dore.
The focus for this course is a slight shift from the other workshops I’ve taught to date, as I have finally figured out a way to teach what it is that I do without having to get AutoCad and a lasercutter involved for a 2 day class.
In my own studio I enamel fiddly little things, some of which I painstakingly draw, drill and cut out myself, and some of which I painstakingly draw and then find someone/thing else to do the drilling and cutting grunt work. In either case, it involves a lot of cutting before enamelling commences, after which I’m left with tiny fiddly parts to enamel, that I later piece together into jewellery.
I could say that this is not really how I learned, rather that it was by trial and error I developed a method to suit my work, (which in some cases I did), but if you dig really deep on this blog, you’ll see that’s just not true. In fact my formative enamelling experience was working in Elizabeth Turrell’s studio at the University of the West of England (images below for a recap), where I spent a month dipping in enamel the things I found on the street on my walk to school in the morning. I then figured out a rather ad-hoc way to fire them, and to be un-flatteringly honest, I’ve not improved any part of my system much since then!
Since the U.S. has such an amazing array of steel bits and bobs lining practically any street edge, I decided it’s time to repeat the earlier England experiment in a workshop. The deluge of scrap metal that I find kinda shameful in a city full of metalsmiths like Seattle, will then go from environmental problem to beautiful, wearable jewels once we get our hands, and Danaca’s range of steel-ready enamels, onto them!
(And while we’re at it we will doubtless find a better solution to making them wearable than my own ‘hang it on a silk cord’ improvisation of 5 years ago, too.)
So if you want the tips and tricks on how I make my art, and more especially if you’d like to turn some trash into wearable treasure of your own, please come and join us. Oh, and on your way to the studio, you’ll inevitably find some steel washers and nails and other rusty odds and ends strewn across the tarmac. Why don’t you bring that along?
Come to Pratt in Seattle for a weekend of enamelling with me! We’re running the ‘Liquid Enamel for Steel and Copper‘ (at this stage you’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the link for the full details) weekend workshop again on the 9th and 10th of April in the very well appointed Pratt facility on Capitol Hill.
What is there to say about this workshop? Well, there’s a bunch of cool techniques that don’t fly with using regular powdered enamels that are great options to convey meaning and beauty with liquid enamel; the kinds of tricks that you can see used in cake decorating, clay manipulation as well as glass painting are all up for grabs with this water-based medium. And then there’s my trick of creating a pair of earrings for everyone in the class to enamel from a single tin-can lid… How do you do that, I hear you ask? Bring along a pair of ear-wires and find out!
No prior enamel experience necessary! Bookings through the link above 😉
The Heat Exchange II show has just opened in Scotland over the weekend, where it will stay until the end of February 2016. A slew of associated events are scheduled to coincide, including a symposium the weekend of the 19th of Feb (**hint hint**, if you’re in the area!) Art Jewelry Forum have just last week published part three of my five-part series of Material Concerns, wherein I talk about the wall of enamels on display in the Künstlerwerkstätten (artists’ workshops) in Erfurt in Germany. How are these connected, I hear you ponder aloud…? Well, the Künstlerwerkstätten is where I hung out with a bunch of the other Heat Exchange participants last year for a couple of weeks, as together we made, or at least trialed, enamel pieces for this touring exhibition.
In the end I made a new series of works earlier this year to send to Europe for the HE adventure, but a selection of the works I made in Erfurt, entitled Jewel for a Wall are currently in Bright! at Rose Turk-o in Richmond.
“We’re surrounded by enamel fired onto steel, from enameled oven- and cook-wear in the kitchen, to whiteboards and signage in the school and street. But it’s not just an industrial process! Learn how to use liquid enamel on steel and copper, from metal surface preparation to enamel mixing, application, and firing. Extend your decorative palette with appealing textures and patterns using simple techniques, perfectly suited for items like jewelry and small objects. Also learn how to prepare and apply enamel to recycled steel and found objects.”
Want to know more about me and the two-day course I run? I recently led back-to-back two-day workshops in New York for The Enamel Guild North East annual conference, who just happens to maintain a great website with maker interviews from past conference speaker/instructors. See my recent profile here!
Class #: 5498
Date: Saturday the 13th + Sunday the 14th of June
Time: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Master Member Fees: $216
Supply fee: $20
Can’t make it this time? Send me an email and I’ll put you on the mailing list for the next one. Or you can read up on the process without even having to leave this blog!
But if you’re not in NY and you want to come hang out with me and learn something about applying liquid enamel to steel? Well I have 2 more options for you.
1\ Local enamel aficionado Rebbecca Tomas has kindly asked me to team up with her to teach an eight-week class at Pratt in Seattle, Beginning Enameling Survey. Starting on the 25th of March, Rebbecca will take the class through the basics of enameling onto copper, and then I step in on week five to take the scene to the steel level. It’s going to be a comprehensive guide to getting the best bang for you buck out of powdered and liquid enamels on the two best materials, copper and steel.
2\ If an 8 intensive is not your style, and you were looking for a early-summer West Coast play-cation, then perhaps this final class will be more up your alley? On June 13th and 14th I’ll be reprising last year’s Enamel on Copper and Steel in a weekend workshop, also at Pratt in Seattle. In that class we’re going to be using liquid enamels on new and recycled steels and copper, working with them and the sandblaster to achieve unique textures and surfaces. I know I’ve had some queries as to when I’d be doing another weekend workshop, so I’m glad to finally be able to oblige. I’ll be sure to let you know when it goes live for registration.
Starting on the 18th of November for four Tuesday sessions from 6-10pm, I’ll be taking a group through how to create great designs with liquid enamel. We’ll start from the start, by preparing metals – including sandblasting – and then we will be talking through the finer points of mixing and applying a base of liquid enamel, followed working over and paring back, and then finishing the enamel surface, on both copper and steel.
If you’ve not used liquid – otherwise known as porcelain – enamel, and you’ve been wondering how to identify and prepare recycled steel for your own projects, then this is the workshop for you!
The class is almost full, so if you’re in the Seattle area, get in soon, and if you’re already enrolled, see you in a week!
Here’s another way to celebrate the launch of my One Design collection at Contemporary Metal in Perth. Come along and try your hand at making a jewel or two to take home, using a timber version of the same components I used to make the whole show!
It’s taking place from 10am – 1pm on 9th of November at Contemporary Metal, Unit 4, 77-79 Howe St, Osborne Park, WA, which is next weekend, and I happen to know that there are still a couple of places left, so what are you waiting for? Sign up and come along and we’ll have a play! And did I mention that it’s suitable for ages 10 and up?
How many different objects can you create from one pattern? Be part of a fun DIY collaborative workshop to create unique works from a suite of pre-cut forms designed by jewellery artist Melissa Cameron. The class will be held in the gallery space to ensure that the new works do not duplicate any pieces in the exhibition. The results will be shown alongside the artist’s work for the duration of the exhibition and can then be taken home by the participants.
The pieces will be joined by silk thread and I have hand-made a bunch of stainless steel fixings – brooch pins, earring posts and the like – to attach the pieces to the body. That leaves you to concentrate on the main challenge – making something completely new from the pieces of the pattern. It’s up to you to challenge the material and the design in any way you can!
Yes, this is the second time that this course has been run, but the first time that I have been able to run it personally, so I’m looking forward to collaborating on some more One Design originals.