I feel like it's been a million years since I've been to my enameling class at the 92nd Street Y. The school is closed this week and next for the holidays, plus I missed class last week due to illness. Still, I've made many interesting pieces this semester. Here are my most recent creations:
The red rose pendant turned out to be quite the project. Initially, it seemed as if it would be a simple design, but I had so many problems with the cloisonne. The kiln was firing really hot so the wire pieces kept moving during the heating process -- and then one of the wire roses melted a bit. Then the white and black enamel kept mixing so I had specks of black throughout the white portion of the design. But eventually, after applying many coats of enamel and firing each cloisonne rose separately, I completed my pendant. It's not my best work as the largest rose looks a bit demented, but it's pretty. Someone even wrote to me on Etsy to compliment the design, so that was promising!
The abstract piece was actually quite interesting to make. I usually use 24 gauge sheet copper for my metal base, but in this case, I used a piece of 20 gauge fine silver sheet metal. Not only was the piece thicker, but the enamel colors show up differently on silver than they do on copper. So I experimented with blues, purple and white and found that the colors almost glow against the silver background. I especially like how the turquoise blue looks -- very shiny and sparkly.
Since I've made so many pendants, my teacher has suggested that I move on and make a pair of earrings. This way, I can practice making multiples of a similar design. I know how challenging this can be when I'm working with wire, so working with enamel multiples will be a learning experience for sure. I do have some ideas for designs, though, and am looking forward to trying them out.
Meantime, I definitely want to again work with silver because I really like the look of that metal with the glass.