Grains of Glass Open Studio brings together Enamel Artists worldwide of every level to share their art and knowledge all under one roof.
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I am doing OK with enameling so far, but find it tedious to use the diamond file to clean the piece by hand after firing. I am enameling on fine silver.Would appreciate it if someone would let me know if there are any shortcuts.Thanks, KarenContinue
Started by Karen D'Andrea. Last reply by Karen D'Andrea on Monday.
Curious to know whether it is better to solder a bail onto a pendant prior to enameling or after enameling. If before, it seems to me the balance of the piece will be off during wet enameling. If after, isn't there a danger of harming the…Continue
Started by Karen D'Andrea. Last reply by Karen D'Andrea on Monday.
Hi again, I'm working with two plates in a kind of champleve, both plates are 1 mm thick (18 gauges). After I etched the plates, I annealed them, then I applied enamel counter in their backs and fired them. Then I start enamelling the etched…Continue
Started by Fernando Ramos. Last reply by Edmund J. Massow Apr 14.
I somehow ended up with an extra copy of this book. I have a paperback version of this book which is really excellent and I believe is now out of print. The book is in very good condition.If anyone is interested please make me an offer over…Continue
Started by NancyTroske. Last reply by NancyTroske Apr 13.
Sorry my bad english, i try to ask a stupid question - how can enamel vertical, concaved or waved forms in plique a jour technique?I have tried flat forms on mica sheet - no problem, but now i will start with butterflys and leafs.Continue
Started by kairi kubja. Last reply by Christopher Palko Mar 28.
Hi everybody, since I went too far etching this plate and got some holes on it, firstly I decided to perforate the plate, patinate it and put it on a polished limestone. But since I have read about the "plique á jour" technique, I am wondering…Continue
Started by Fernando Ramos. Last reply by Edmund J. Massow Mar 24.
Hi everybody, my name is Fernando and I live in Spain. I came to enamel from the etching and the sculpture world. I'm just starting, my first attempts were with torch firing and now I have a kiln. I have done some test with little pieces to see my…Continue
Started by Fernando Ramos. Last reply by Fernando Ramos Mar 23.
Hi folks, Please share your techniques for applying full-piece silver foil to copper that DOESN'T have air bubbles trapped underneath. Thank you! DianaContinue
Started by Diana Wieler. Last reply by Diana Wieler Mar 22.
These featured selections of Enamel Art are from our Members.
Posted by musickstudio on April 18, 2014 at 11:20pm
Posted by Trish White on April 15, 2014 at 7:00am
Posted by Trish White on April 14, 2014 at 8:57am
SCULPTED WIRE: rare and difficult execution of Japanese cloisonne, using wires of different sizes, widths and shape to emphasize the decorations. Usually achieved by master craftsmen with pure silver wires, silver rims, on a silver metal base vase. Dating 1900-1910
Day 22 René Laliqué
I woke up this morning to two emails each from Chris Hierholzer and Rudolph Molnar - it seems the the spirit of Peter Carl Fabergé was restless after reading about my undying love for Rene Lalique and Carl insisted his work was far better - so now I have two Masters of the Art of Enamel vying for my attention. Check out the video section for the Eggs of Fabergé and if you get to Vienna, stop in and see the collection as part of the celebration of the Austro-Russian Cultural Season-
Peter Carl Fabergé
Every time I look for heirlooms to post to the site I always find an incredible piece from Rene Lalique - I call it pure "wonderment" - A few years back I had the good fortune of seeing his work up close in an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York - His renderings alone were a work of art. I couldn't imagine putting so much work into just drawing a design for a piece of jewelry but he did, and they were framable art. When I look into my sketchbook, I hear him whisper " ma chère fille - vous avez besoin de beaucoup de travail!
For the month of April, I am having a love affair with Rene, and will WOW you every day with a little bit of French Perfection!
I was born in 1980, in a small village of Churu district on the border of Haryana in Rajasthan, India. There is a common culture for both states. Rural life in my village is very simple and sentient. Although the lives of village residents is full of problems and deficiencies generations have remained spending their lives untouched from the urban life style. Villagers are mainly dependent upon agriculture and spend endless laborious hours in the fields but as a child growing up, I only saw peace and satisfaction on their faces. Life was simple and enjoyed with lots of festivals, and the visual celebration of color. MANDNA and RADGOLI designs were made on houses, vibrant colors decorated the home and clothing. Everywhere you looked there were designs of animals, flowers, trees, nature, home and, agriculture tools, and lots of local deities . These works of art left a lasting impression on my life.
In 2003, I decided to follow a professional course in fine art, and moved to Jaipur. I received my BFA from Rajasthan School of Art, Jaipur. I brought with me those childhood memories, and the culture of festival decoration and nature from my village. I use all these things in my paintings with touchable effect on surface. I use stencils, engraving, embossing, and stamping for effect on canvas. During my studies, I visited many handicraft and famous Sanganeri print factories. I found motifs used in my village here but unfortunately they were not the same as I remember, and some were changed and modified.
In 2005 I received my MFA from Rajasthan School of Art, Jaipur.
My creativity comes from my daily routines and nature that gives my paintings a gentle decorative quality that are well finished with creative cool feelings.
My new medium in which to express my feelings has become enameling on metal. Jaipur is famous for enamel jewelry and crafted enamel items. Many traditional artisans are working in this medium here. So I have started my painting work with this medium.
In 2007 I took an advanced Enameling Course from I.I.J. in Mumbai. I always try to innovate something different in my work with contemporary approaches. I like most search for new mediums and execute them on a platform. I play with texture in different formats and surfaces that is my own expression. My recent works done in enameling technique are so interesting, adding a new dimension to my work . Still my works are abstract but one can understand the roots of my imagination that is Nature and its variation of surfaces.
Last week in the FORUM, Christoper Palko asked "Any success with Opalescence? Cracking with Thompson #2061 Opalescent white-
I forwarded the question on to Tom Ellis from Thompson Enamels and this is what he said....
Hope this helps...
When enamel cracks it is because there is too much stress and the glass has no choice but to relieve that stress by cracking. This can happen with any enamel under certain conditions. Some of these conditions could also lead to the enamel releasing from the metal or from itself, but the chipping defect may or may not involve conditions that always apply to cracking. Under the conditions of heat the metal expands. The enamel flows and is carried with the metal. As the piece cools the enamel becomes rigid between 1020˚F and 1050˚F.
The metal continues to contract. This puts a strain on the enamel and given certain conditions, the enamel will crack.
There are many reasons or combination of reasons why the glass/metal relationship fails. The reasons can include - the wrong alloy or base metal; no counter enamel; the wrong expansions relationship; uneven or too thick enamel application; uneven enamel thicknesses back to front;
non uniform base metal thickness; solder joints; weighting the enamel after firing; metal inclusions in the enamel; impact; the list can go on and on. There is not a general answer that will cover all situations. To understand what is causing the cracking involves looking at each instance of cracking individually, and looking at all the conditions that may be causing the cracking or contributing to it.
In order to solve a problem we start by asking questions. Answers need to be very specific and usually a good photograph can provide information that may not have been considered in the questions:
1. What metal is used? If an alloy, be very specific as to the alloy.
2. What size and shape is the piece?
3. What is the metal thickness? Is the base metal exactly uniform in thickness? Is the piece flat or domed? Is the piece cast, metal clay or from sheet? Is the enamel placed into a recess in the metal? If so, what is the depth of the recess? What enamel technique is being used? What is the method of application of the enamel? How does the thickness of the enamel compare with the thickness of the metal? What equipment is being used to fire the piece? What is the firing temperature? What is the length of firing time? How is the piece left to cool? Where are the cracks in relationship to shape of piece? cloisonne wires? etc.?
The expansion of 2061 is 343. That is on the high side of expansion for enamels for metal. In general you want the lowest expansion on top. This is not always the case, and seems most important when at extremes. 1020 is a low expansion white which if a high expansion transparent enamel is fired on top, cracking can occur. I have used 2061 on top of 2020 (expansion - 305) with no obvious problems but it could be my enamel thickness is on the thin side, so that too much stress is not created.
I include a photo of a piece that is 1-1/2 inches square, 18 gauge copper domed, counter enameled, base coated with 2020, silver cloisonne wire and silver foil, and the right-side whitish portion is 2061 over silver foil over 2020, the circle is 2061 over 2520 on 2020.
The 2061 came right out of current stock. There have been three firings at 1430˚F for 1-1/2 minutes. After the second firing the piece was stoned and re-fired. After the third firing the edges were polished with a medium Cratex wheel on a polishing motor.
There is no cracking of the 2061.
For the cloisonne in question, I would look at the enamel thicknesses as they relate to one another, and back and front; the thickness of the base metal as it relates to the enamel thickness; the expansion of the enamels used together; the cloisonne wires as they relate to the enamel areas; and consider the location of cracks on the piece in relation to the parts of the piece i.e. cloisonne wires. Try to imagine the metal expanding and contracting in relation to the piece and the cracks.
The greater the thickness of the enamel in relationship to lesser thickness of metal is worth considering first. The piece should certainly be counter enameled. Slow cooling is best as well as lower temperature which would obviously decrease the amount of expansion which decreases the amount of contraction.
1915: The Nokomis Theater is Born
According to Minneapolis building permits, the Nokomis Theater was originally constructed in 1915 as a silent moving picture house at a total cost of $8,500. At the time, the small commercial intersection of 38th and Chicago was a bustling neighborhood node along the Chicago Avenue streetcar line. The Nokomis Theater's original architect was Joseph E. Nason who, in addition to having designed other theaters throughout Minnesota and several large apartment buildings in Minneapolis, also designed the Resler Building in Minneapolis’s Historic Warehouse District.
To: Chicago Avenue FIRE ARTS CENTER
CLICK ON THE DOCUMENTARY-
The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) is a non-profit arts organization that fills a unique niche in arts programming for the Twin Cities region. Its focus is on fine and industrial art forms that are produced using heat, spark, or flame—collectively known as "fire arts"—including sculptural welding, blacksmithing, glasswork, jewelry making, and others. CAFAC provides classes to anyone with an interest, from youth to adult and beginner to master-level artisans. We also offer studio rental facilities to working and emerging artists and feature a storefront gallery space.
The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center inspires hands, hearts, and minds through art forms produced by heat, spark, or flame.
PLAYING WITH FIRE
With Fire as the inspiration, this curated exhibition explores a range of materials, metalsmithing techniques and aesthetics from enameled jewelry to iron and damascus steel from both local and national artists.
Where: Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC), www.cafac.org
Artists: Barbara Minor, Heinz Brummel, Rick Dunkerley, Carol Warner, Susan Hunt, Darlys Ewoldt, Heejin Hwang, Kevin O'Dwyer
Curator: Heather Doyle and Carol Warner
April 12-May 1st
AN ART NOUVEAU MULTI-GEM AND ENAMEL PENDANT NECKLACE, BY RENE LALIQUE
The openwork oval-shaped enamel pendant, depicting Sarah Bernhardt as Mélissande in La Princesse Lointaine, walking through the woods with her dog, within a sculpted 18k gold leaf frame, set along one side with three old European-cut diamonds, suspending a drop-shaped amethyst, within a sculpted gold surround, to the gold fine link neckchain, mounted in 18k gold, circa 1898, 24 ins., with French assay mark, in a Lalique green leather fitted case; accompanied by a beige leather-bound copy of the script of La Princesse Lointaine, a gift to Sarah Bernhardt from Edmond Rostand, the front decorated with a gold and silver-topped gold lily stalk, the blossoms set with rose-cut diamonds and cabochon citrines, the sculpted gold foliate clasp set with garnets, peridots, tourmalines and amethyst, mounted in gold, 1895, 5½ x 8 ins., in an Edmond Rostand black leather case
Pendant signed Lalique for René Lalique, script signed by Edmond Rostand
Not merely a living legend as an actress, Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was also a modern, liberated woman who was an inspiration for the worlds of fashion, the decorative arts and the aesthetic of Art Nouveau. A performer of genius and a multitalented writer, painter and sculptor, she was one of the most brilliant women of her age.
After making her debut at the Conservatoire, Bernhardt's stage career began in 1862, largly in comic theatre and burlesque while she was a student at the Comédie-Franaise, France's most prestigious theatre. She rapidly established a career that was as eclectic as it was successful, excelling in tragedies such as La Dame aux Camélias, triumphing in romantic theatre such as Hernani and Ruy Blas, and winning renown for her male roles in Hamlet, Lorenzaccio andL'Aiglon, written by her friend Edmond Rostand.
Edmond Rostand was also the author of La Princesse Lointaine, written in 1865, his second play which retold the story of the troubadour, Jaufre Rudel who died of love for the Princess of Tripoli, Mélissande. Bernhardt created and starred as Mélissande. He gave Sarah Bernhardt a copy of the text bound in beige leather with a diamond and citrine lily on the cover. The lily echoed the crown she wore in the play. The binding has a scrolling clasp of garnets, peridots, tourmalines, rose-cut diamonds and a cabochon amethyst. These unusual stones were chosen for their muted colors, popular in the late nineteenth century. Bernhardt's motto, "Quand Même" ("In Spite Of"), encloses her entwined initials in gold letters on the back. Rostand showed his devotion to her in a dedicatory poem, handwritten on the front page of the book.
In the course of Sarah Bernhardt's long career, she built up a substantial jewelry collection. She bought pieces in Paris and also collected objects on her international tours. Though her vast jewelry collection encompassed a wide range of styles, Bernhardt is mostly remembered for her influence on Art Nouveau jewelry.
René Lalique began his career as an apprentice to the Parisian jeweller Aucoc, whom Dumas had chosen to be his heroine, Marguerite Gautier's, special jeweler. In turn, Lalique, with his feel for dramatic jewelry, attracted the attention of Bernhardt, who later played Marguerite. For the 1894 production of Theodora, Lalique made Bernhardt a magnificent crown with snakes, griffins, and shoulder-length handing beads. For La Princesse Lointaine, in 1895, Lalique is believed to have made Bernhardt's crown and sapphire ring. He also created this enamel and gold pendant necklace depicting Mélissande, the character Bernhardt played, with her dog, which is set with diamonds and a pear-shaped amethyst drop.
The Art Nouveau period introduced a brief but remarkably fashionable style from the early 1890s to about 1910 which captured the moral and artistic freedom of the day. Art Nouveau designers embraced romanticism, naturalism, and femininity, creating emotive pieces of great harmony and beauty. René Lalique's technical innovations and flamboyant artistry designate him as one of the most celebrated Art Nouveau jewelers and certainly one of the most venerated French jewelers of all time.
LA PRINCESSE LOINTAINE
Vitreous Enamel is simply a thin layer of glass fused at high temperature on to the surface of a metal.
The word enamel comes from the High German word 'smelzan' and later from the Old French 'esmail'.
The formal definition is : Vitreous Enamel can be defined as a material which is a vitreous solid obtained by smelting or fritting a mixture of inorganic materials.
The Collins English Dictionary defines enamel as "a coloured glassy substance, transparent or opaque, fused to the surface of articles made of metal, glass etc. for ornament or protection." Vitreous enamel is specifically on a metal base. It is thus defined as a vitreous, glass-like coating fused on to a metallic base. In American English it is referred to as Porcelain Enamel.
It should not be confused with paint, which is sometimes called 'enamel'. Paints cannot be vitreous enamel. They do not have the hardness, heat resistance and colour stability that is only available with real vitreous enamel. Beware of companies or products implying the use of enamel. Check their credentials and warranties.
Vitreous enamel is part of everyday life and found all around us. You will use it on many kitchen surfaces including cookers, saucepans and washing machine drums. You will find enamelled cast iron or steel baths and clock and watch faces. Out of doors, we use enamel for street signs, Underground station signs, architectural panels, storage and treatment tanks and many other places. It is selected because it is weatherproof, vandal resistant, fireproof and because it lasts and lasts and lasts. Titanic's Captain Smith's enamelled bathtub has survived very well under the sea.
Enamel is also used by artists and in jewellery, famously in Russia's Fabergé eggs. Decorative enamelling was the first use of the process of enamelling, dating back to the 13th century BC. This type of enamel is usually applied to copper and its alloys and to gold and silver. We make Vitreous Enamel by smelting naturally occurring minerals, such as sand, feldspar, borax, soda ash, and sodium fluoride at temperatures between 1200 °C and 1350 °C until all of the raw materials have dissolved. Other metallic mineral may be added to give specific properties or colour. The molten glass which is formed is either quenched into water or through water-cooled rollers. This rapid cooling prevents crystallisation and is said to be in a metastable state. This material is called "frit". To make a usable enamel the frit will be ground in a rotating ball mill either to produce a water-based slurry or a powder. Clays are used in the water-based products to give a product which can be applied to the metal by spraying, dipping or painting by brush. At the milling stage, other minerals will be added to give the properties which are required of the final enamel. Colour is introduced by the use of metal compounds. The recognisable blue enamel is produced using cobalt. Powdered enamels are applied by dusting or using electrostatic equipment. The final glassy finish so typical of vitreous enamel is produced by firing in furnaces at temperatures up to 900 °C. As it cools, it fuses to give glass-coated metal. This 'firing' process gives vitreous enamel its unique combination of properties. The smooth glass-like surface is hard; it is scratch, chemical and fire resistant. It is easy to clean and hygienic. It all started 3500 years ago in Cyprus. Since 1500 BC, enamelling has been a wonderful, durable, attractive and reliable material. You will recognise it as the material used to produce the now highly collectable advertising signs produced during the early 20th Century.
The 'Hovis' and 'Virol' signs were part of the everyday street scene. Your cooker will almost certainly have a vitreous enamelled oven and the higher quality cookers will use it on the outer parts. Your cast iron or steel bath will have been vitreous enamelled. Less obvious are the storage silos on farms, usually blue or green; they tower over the surrounding countryside. Carl Faberge used enamel for his unique eggs and jewellery and the Battersea enamellers are famous for their copper enamelled boxes. These are only two of the better-known groups of highly skilled artists who used this very special material. Vitreous enamel can be applied to most metals. For jewellery and decorative items it is often applied to gold, silver, copper and bronze. For the more common uses, it is applied to steel or cast iron. There are some specialised uses on stainless steel and aluminium.
The durability of the early advertising signs, still showing the brilliance of the original colours after a hundred years, is one of the best examples of the long-term colour stability of vitreous enamel. Compare them to signs, for example, road signs produced in less durable materials which fade and quickly become shabby. The scourge of graffiti will destroy signs and panelling produced in less durable materials.
Graffiti can be easily removed from vitreous enamel
Some of the early vitreous enamelled relics date back to the 13th Century BC and the colours are still as vibrant as the day they were produced (click our page on Enamelling History). The picture is of some Ming dynasty enamel from the 16th century. If you want something where the colour will never fade, use vitreous enamel.
London Underground LogoFollowing the disastrous King's Cross fire, where combustible materials underground were the major cause, the specification of vitreous enamel for both decorative and functional parts in underground applications is now universal. It cannot burn, in contrast to paints and plastics. The famous London Underground station signs and maps are instantly recognisable uses of this unique product.
FOR THOSE OF YOU unfamiliar with this technique of Enamel Art
PLEASE allow me to re-introduce Master Artist
Mauricette Pinoteau is an enamelist living in Limoges. She specializes in relief technique, she learned this technique at the very famous " Atelier Camille Fauré "in Limoges ,during the 70's .
Mauricette is one of the only two living enamelists that studied with the Masters the secret of the relief technique.
Today she masters this almost magical style of enameling wich seems to defy the logic of enamelling.
She works and sells her work in her own gallery in the same town of Limoges.
Mauricette has provided us with a file to watch how this technique is done.
Also, go to Notebook 1, "Fauré Techniques" to read all about Camille Fauré and his studio.