There’s still a few open slots in my upcoming enamel class
This is it, folks, the last enamel class I’m scheduled to teach in the USA before I head back to Australia in October.
Come on down to Danaca Design in the U district of Seattle for the 16th-17th of June. We’re going to concentrate on Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry. Bring your hat and sun lotion, we’re going to walk the neighbourhood to find some of our materials on the street – basically duplicating how I tend to live my life – before we start on Saturday morning. There’s a construction site down the street right now, so who knows what riches we may find? I’ve been working up to taking a whole class for a walk like this for a while, so I hope I’ll have a few courageous souls who’ll be interested in trying it out with me.
And yes, we’ll do some enameling on steel chain. I’ll bring the chain 😉
I already put this news out on the socials (look at me, writing like the kids talk), so apologies for the duplication, and also I’m sorry if this is brand new to you, (it may not be the most sympathetic forum to tell y’all) but… We’re moving back to Australia in October.
Which makes this the second last opportunity that US folk have to join in a workshop with me while I’m still a full-time resident. I absolutely intend to come back and visit everyone, but getting working visas and employment authorization have only become more difficult the longer I have lived here, so who knows when I’ll be able to do this again.
The final weekend workshop I have scheduled is on the weekend of the 16th-17th of June at Danaca Design in the U district of Seattle. There we’re going to concentrate on Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry. That class will be some of the same, but also a little different since we’re going to walk the neighbourhood to find some of our materials on the street – basically duplicating how I tend to live my life. I’ve been working up the courage to take this risk with a whole class for a while, so I hope I’ll have a few courageous souls who’ll be interested in trying it out with me 😉
But same goes for this weekend! If you’re in the area and have ever thought “Hmm, an enamel class sounds good, but I have to do my Spring cleaning – I’ll get the next one”, maybe… you know..
*Enameling and firing steel chain has some quirks, so there’s a few tricks and tips that I’ve figured out in my practice that I’ll be sharing. And of course it comes along with all the usual info, much of which crosses over into all forms of enameling.
(I’m just repeating myself to the German speakers…)
The Enamelist Society (TES) would like to know what’s going on in the wider world of enamel, and somehow Anne Havel has roped me in to write a little something for their newsletter. That’s where you come in, with the whole email-me shenanigans.
If you in an upcoming enamel exhibition, or have enamel works in an upcoming show that you don’t think I’m familiar with; if you have you seen a cool collection that you’d like to share with the greater world of enamelists; or if you are leading a workshop, or doing a residency, or are in the know about some enamel event that needs more media coverage, then…
Drop me an email!
Include details, dates, images (with artist and photographer captions at the very least) and other relevant info, and I’ll personally add your secret spices to the gumbo that is the TES newsletter. And I’ll email you back, though probably not until within a week of the next first-of-the-month deadline.
enamel (at) melissacameron (dot) net
☝ add the @ and the . and lose the spaces. obviously.
I will be sticking around in Oakland to attend day one of a weekend of large scale enameling at KVO Industries on the 9th, which is super-exciting. Knowing that I have plans to make some more panel-based works in the next year or so for a show in the UK, I’m looking to up my large-format game, and since Judy Stone at the Center for Enamel Art – all-round champion of enamel and artists – suggested I do it, how could I refuse? Not that my moderate-panel game appears to be too shabby, as I recently won a prize for Wall Works (for the above) in the Enamelist Society Alchemy 4 Juried Exhibition!
I’ll also be giving a free public lecture next Wednesday night at California College of the Arts:
“From a tamper-proof fence to Body Politic – my enamel journey so far” 7:30pm, Nahl Hall, Oakland Campus, 5212 Broadway (map)
Looking forward to spending time in the heat after just finishing up my Aussie shenanigans of the past few weeks. Northern Summer, come at me!
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 😉 )
I’m getting about, gadding about, even. If you want to see me in the flesh, try checking these places:
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?
Enamelling is a great way to protect jewellery made from mild steel and is easy to master. Come join me in a weekend workshop at Pratt in Seattle to learn the skills to turn your rusty recycled bits and bobs into beautiful and unique jewels.
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 😉