Wednesday, June 16, 2010

enameling part 3

a sampler of marks on the opaque enamel

after spending the first two days thinking about mark making, we started enameling on wednesday. helen began by introducing us to liquid enamel (industrial enamel--think large appliances) in 4 basic colors: an opaque white, a slightly transparent white, black, and "flux" that varies in color from white to brown to clear depending on the firing). we were also given a stack of steel plates to enamel on. then helen demonstrated the basic process and some ideas for making marks in the enamel before firing.

one big scratch also on opaque white-i got some nice blue undertones one this one

liquid enamel requires lots of time which i came to really appreciate. although the firing part takes just moments, all the steps leading up to it and then after it need time in order to get the best results consistently. for example, once the enamel is applied, the piece should dry for a long time, say overnight. then once the piece has been fired, it's best to allow the piece to cool, again, at least overnight. the materials and process sort of "forced" me to slow down and i liked taking my time. as for the limited color palette, i also really liked it. i tend to gravitate towards white generally and found only a few colors to choose from helped me to stay focused while learning something new.

more on flickr.

thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Elisa Shere said...

These pieces look gorgeous! I am always amazed by your work. I also totally get what you mean about having to slow down - I've been making ceramic pieces that I set in silver and it's a process. Rolling out the clay, letting it dry, firing, cooling, glazing, etc. As a metalsmith, I'm used to more immediate results.