Sunday, April 18, 2010

ENAMELING AT BEAD HAVEN

Chris's pieces turned out really well. I especially liked the mint green one with the super nova in the middle. It reminds me of the meteor from the other night.

Good job Alice, as always! Love that orchid enamel from Thompson.

Of course, David can always be expected to do something unexpected! He brought this sunflower-shaped piece of copper to class. He cut it out on his band saw, I think. He's a very creative soul indeed.

Last Thursday night, I taught an enameling class at Bead Haven. As always, I am amazed at the curiosity and creativity of my students. I feel really lucky to have mostly those kinds of folks as my students. In my enameling classes I like to show several ways that the pieces can be fired. We use a butane torch for the smaller pieces, an Ultra-Lite kiln (which is a small, inexpensive table top kiln), and an electric kiln with a digital controller (ie. a PMC kiln) for the larger ones. I want students to be able to go home and be able to start enameling right away. Most people aren't going to rush out and buy a kiln, or even an Ultra-Lite, but many already have a butane torch, or can afford to get one. I think it's really important to figure out ways to keep art from being cost prohibitive. Of course, if I do my job, students will eventually want to buy every tool out there!
Enameling is a funny thing, in that it's really easy to learn the basics, but would take a lifetime to master (if then!). I learn a lot every time a get the enamels out and play, and it's cool to think of what might come next. I have so much to learn. I'm a little in love with it right now, can you tell? Ah well, back to some serious soldering tomorrow, but that's ok too. Playing with fire is never bad!

4 comments:

Lisa Crone said...

Oh wow, I love everything! This has inspired me to want to learn more!! Thanks for sharing!

Gail said...

Love the sunflower

Cris Leonard said...

Me too! Reminds me of Le Tour de France!

Suz said...

I really like the looks of these pieces. David is quite creative, isn't he? Looks like you had a good group.