More München

One on of the best shows I saw in Munich was also the last one I went to, which I managed to squeeze in after David Watkins and Wendy Ramshaw’s presentation All About Me at the Pinakothek der Moderne.

Entitled Treasure Hunt, it showcased a range of jewellery, sculpture and furniture works from the KOV studio in the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. As you might expect, I really liked the idea of combining these works into a single exhibition. It’s an idea not without considerable risk, but it was clear that a confident curatorial influence was at work, ensuring that the pieces were of a consistent standard. The furniture works were all executed in a similar, if not the same, unfinished timber material, as were many of the sculptural pieces.

The jewellery works spanned precious and non precious metals, glass, cardboard, coloured pencils, plastic and thread, and exhibited (if I may be permitted to generalise a little) a strong spatial element, as well as an awareness of the body. I’ve managed to find some images here of works from the show. (Of course there is a Klimt02 page also.)

To quote the International Design Museum website, “Although the initials K.O.V. make up the Czech word “metal”, the Studio is the only department of the Academy’s Department of Applied Arts that has no assigned media. In fact, the letters stand for Concept — Objekt — Meaning.” The professor is Eva Eisler, and to give the show it’s full title, is called: Treasure Hunt. Class of Eva Eisler, Prague.

I thought the whole show, small that it was, was really impressive and exciting.  The jewellery works, including two cast glass objects displayed in the charred timber in which they were cast, as well as the ‘tools‘ and much of the metalworking (via here) were really unique and wonderful.

Day 8 – result!

I was a little heavy handed with the last layer of clear enamel… I should have watered it down a little more.

The plan is to add two more linking strands of cable (at present there are only two, but there are holes drilled for four), just to firm it up a little. And to fray the ends of the cable, to which I’ll add some enamel to the frayed parts to clamp the layers into place. This will have to happen when I have access to a torch, so I can fire just the end parts.

Tomorrow I’m not in the studio, I’ll be going to Birmingham to catch up with Bridie Lander at the School of Jewellery within the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design at Birmingham City University. We met at Inhorgenta in Munich a couple of weekends ago. Which reminds me… More on Munich soon!

Day 7 – slow going

Yesterday’s work in progress has two more layers added. I fired a third, but it was not the next one in line so I couldn’t add it to the work. I was hoping to fire 4 layers today, but I only made it to three…

Today I listened as Elizabeth told Carol (an MA student who is currently working in the studio) about the Playing with Fire exhibition that recently toured here, for which she contributed to the touring notes, and a catalogue essay.

If you go here you can scroll down you can see that under Recent Touring Exhibitions there is  listed Playing with Fire – Contemporary UK Enamel. At the end of this section there is a link to two PDF’s that contain a bunch of information on the history and practice of enamelling, including pictures to do with various enamel processes. There is a particularly beautiful example of a transfer print on the work Treecups by Tamar De Vries Winter on the last page of the Education Panels.

Makes me think I should get back to the screen print room to print me a transfer!


Day 6 – layering

Work continues one layer at a time. Today though, a lot of time was spent finger-twiddling, to separate the clusters that compose 0.27mm cable. The separated strands finish up like fine steel hairs, which easily knot around the laser-cut metal circles.

With Jess! And Anthony.

Day Four…

The enamel deities feel it’s time to remind me that I am but a mere novice…

I fired the vessel, but the vessel fired back.

It then got sandblasted. The school’s sandblaster is fierce, but no match for steel cable enamelled into .5mm holes. More work on it today.

Another attempt; a proof of concept of sorts. Will be adding to this (very thin) base layer.


Day Three – Result!

Not only does the enamel stay on the cable, but it joined these two pieces. Each piece of cable is a different diameter from 0.27mm through to 0.6mm, and had a knot for testing the enamel on and a knot to affix it to the trivet with copper wire.

The large kiln wasn’t on today, so I will wait to fire this piece. Fingers crossed!

I’ve moved on to a smaller piece – to fit it in the kiln, and because these are all I have left of my pre-prepared metal pieces.

Both vessels were dipped whole in wet process enamel – in slightly differing shades of red.

Fired! This one got a little shaken before entering the kiln, so some of the missing patches toward the frayed cable ends went missing before firing. Interestingly it slumped toward the back of the kiln, where it would have got hotter. Jessica has since suggested maybe I should hang them to avoid this. It’s a thought.

You can see some exposed metal on that top layer in the foreground of that image. There was a small amount of enamel pinging off once it fired, but it seemed mostly from off the cable.  It seemed to lessen as it became properly cooled.

what is she building – a preview

what is she building?

Deep Slip. Wall brooch 2010. Melissa Cameron + Chloe Vallance. Patinated copper and coloured pencil.

An object work. Uncommon in my practice, but not unheard of. I should put up some pics of where this all really began. The Artist and I met long, long ago, when we were were making art in Italy. I was making object works, virtually unheard of for me, at the time…