Monday, 30 July 2012

First Etched and Enamelled Samples

Have you ever done a project where at the end you suddenly ask yourself, "my goodness this looks tragic, what was I thinking? Why didn't I realise sooner?" Usually when I think this to myself I'm referring to sorting out my wardrobe or some over-experimental cooking, but not with something I've made. With this mini project I had that sinking feeling that the end result wouldn't be as striking as I imagined, and all the work I put in would be a waste. Fortunately, a couple of accidents in the enamlelling kiln changed the colours more to my liking, and with a little more destructiveness I might come out with something that was worth the time I put in. 

Copyright Steffi Glaves 2012

Before I went home for the summer I had a month or so where I could pretty much do whatever I wanted in the workshops. After doing those triangular laser cut pendants I fancied having some done in copper as well, and it gave me an excuse to try enamelling onto an etched surface, which I have never done before. I experimented with liquid grounds, tape and marker pens for making resists for the nitric acid, onto large triangular pendants. I found that some resists worked better than others so the crisp geometric shapes and textures I marked out were lost. I was a bit peeved, but suddenly realised they would look better to cut them up into more manageable pieces. 

This came up a treat in the enamelling process. I didn't realise how little enamel was actually needed to fill the etched spaces I made. Plus, as I was grinding down the surface, the masked parts that were initially etched away suddenly were reappearing. Every time a piece was put back in the kiln and ground down the pattern kept changing. 

measures 55mm long
Copyright Steffi Glaves 2012

My next issue now is that I'm tempted to pierce holes into the blobby bits, as Ive crudely drawn on Photoshop above. I think the green pendant, which is looking a bit plain, would benefit most from this. I'm worried that the enamel could crack but if that happened I could always refire it again......could I.........? Could anyone give their opinion please?

1 comment:

  1. I think these are lovely. I have no experience with jewelry/enamel/metal (just wool), so won't offer advise, but my opinion would be to go for it. You will learn something whether it works or not, and the next time you enamel etched copper, your results will probably be more to your liking...making you less likely to experiment on it afterward. Although my gut says sell these as-is. They are gorgeous!!