Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tales From Enameling Class

First, the bad news: The specialty bracelet class which I was planning to take, was cancelled since not enough people signed on for it. But the good news is that my enameling class is back in session. Yay!

I hadn't realized how much I'd missed making enamel jewelry until I had my "enamel emergency" a few weeks ago. That was such a rush job, though, that I didn't really get to enjoy the process (sidenote: the customer for whom I made that pendant liked her piece! Hurrah!). I was happy to return to my class where I could relax, take my time and really work on my enameling skills.

Right now, I'm still working on making champleve pieces. Last semester, I managed to successfully complete champleve earrings, but I want to work on some more complicated designs.

Over the summer, I etched out several pieces of metal and just have to place the enamel. In yesterday's class I put together a champleve pendant that has a cool nautical design; it kind of looks like abstract fish swimming upstream. I placed silver foil on the metal, then covered the foil with a white base... only I burned the first coat and had to apply two additional coats in order to mask it. By the time I set the cloisonne wire and added color, you could hardly see the shimmery foil, but the pendant is still turning out pretty well. I used aqua, deep blue, green and purple to reflect the ocean's colors -- and those hues look good against the copper frame. I still need to plug up a couple of tiny cracks and clean up the metal; once I've done that, I'm going to make a chain with turquoise beads. I should have it finished by next week so I'll post photos. After that, I think I want to continue with a nautical theme and make another pendant that features graphics of shells.

My teacher is anxious to show me some other techniques and this will be a good time to learn them. The fall semester is 13 weeks long and pretty much goes right into the winter semester so I basically have all year to perfect my work. Meantime, I like doing champleve and want to make a few more pieces for my next craft fair, which is in October.

To purchase my jewellery, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

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