Day 12

Anamika is also at the CFPR enamelling department in Bristol, where she’s making amazing discoveries in metal and enamel.

Anamika has been in Bristol with Elizabeth since January. She has been working on sample-sized pieces the whole time, testing different techniques and variations, mostly on copper pieces of consistent sizes and shapes.

Her practice prior to this has encompassed many areas, including printmaking and composing large works from confetti-sized slivers of paper (all which she stamped out herself). While in the studio she has used roundels of copper (in a slightly larger format than her paper works of course) on which to experiment. It is easy to see how these parts will be used in the creation of a final work. She plans to take these back to India with her to compose several final pieces with the parts.

While here she has also worked on squares of copper (dimensions approx 100 x 100mm) creating literally stacks of pieces, one by one. It’s a trial and error process, without the error. Each work seems to lead to the next, but also allows her to trial each of the many processes that Elizabeth is familiar with. She is concerned with the weight of works she is making, so has worked on copper shim a lot, and has now begun working on ‘tin’ cans that she has cut apart and sandblasted. This gives her more rectangles of surface to use that are strong but light, as well as the round tin ends.

sandblasted steel 'tin' lid with beads, pre firing. Anamika
Anamika firing the 'lid'
Waiting patiently...

Until coming to enamelling, her works hadn’t really involved metalworking, so seeing how she engages with this material has been really interesting and instructive. I keep telling her she’d make a great jeweller as so many of her pieces remind me of jewellery. Lucky there are some magnets around the place to prove it!

Contrasting works - the piece on the left has has red beads fired into the holes while white and red with a backing coat of white enamel is the treatment of the piece on the right.
Light through the work - she refired the piece to fully cover all the holes
Anamika models her latest work. It's totally jewellery!
Or stained glass... Anamika 2011

I actually get up to some work myself. I have ground down the soil/rust that I shook of the washers yesterday and ‘glued’ it with white enamel onto some grip-coated washers. This is a first coat, later I add another to cover the dark patches. Even then, I’m unconvinced…

ground sand on washers - first layer
the sand + the washers

This is my attempt at drawing on a mug with an ink pen. After drawing the image I had planned to stick sifted enamel onto the ‘wet’ (or at least still tacky) ink. My new calligraphy pen is a bust however, so I’ll probably use a transfer instead.

Ugly Mug - an inappropriate choice of process leaves me with another flop...

And in a photographic mood, I document a couple of studio happenings; first, the liquid enamels setup. There is a permanent container of opaque black, transparent and opaque white enamels in the studio. They are constantly in use.

Studio setup - three liquid enamels, sunning themselves!

And here’s a tip for enamellers: pop a couple of 20p coins (we were short on 20’s, so there ended up being a 2 and a 10) into your sifting enamel if it has a lot of lumps in it. It breaks them down as you sift, meaning no grinding first!

Tips for enamellers: part 1 - currency helps...