As expected, my enameling class is turning out to be a lot of fun. I like that I'm now considered to be an "advanced" student and am pretty much lft alone to do my own thing. Even better, everyone is really nice and we have a lot of laughs.
My teacher keeps a lot of old jewelry magazines around the studio -- partially so we can look at the designs and partially so we can use the pages. When sifting the enamel, you want to save as much of the leftover as possible (it's expensive!) so we sift over a torn-out magazine page. Once we're finished, we dump the excess enamel powder back into its jar. This way, we're not wasting any of the glass.
Anyway, this last week, my teacher had a German jewelry magazine that was simply called "Schmuck." Now schmuck means "jewelry" in German so that was the magazine's title: "Jewelry." But, well, it means something a bit more saucy in Yiddish (think a part of the male anatomy) and the naughty term has been picked up as such in English. So, of course, we all turned into 12-year-olds and laughed and laughed at this title. Silly, I know, but it was fun!
We then had a very spirited discussion about Dancing With The Stars and for whom we are all rooting this season. Most of us are impressed with Kelly Monaco. NO ONE in the class wants to see Bristol Palin win!
With all the joking around, I did get a lot of work done. I played around with some brown shades of enamel because I'm looking to make some warm, earthy pieces of jewelry. I also think I'd like to use those shades for my parents' tray. Meanwhile, I made this flower pendant for my mother-in-law, who's birthday is this weekend:
I was going for a natural look so I didn't use any cloisonne wire in this piece, but now I'm wishing I did. When the enamel is in its powdered glass form, the color doesn't look quite like it does when it's fired. So the light brown and pink looked very similar and I found it difficult to paint within the lines. I kept painting over the pink petals of the flowers or I'd be too cautious and leave too much white space between the flowers and the brown background.
Still, I think it's pretty and hope that my mother-in-law likes it. If anything, I think that she'll appreciate the fact that I made it for her. Next week, definitely back to using cloisonne!