I have a confession to make: I haven't been into enameling lately, at least not like I used to be. I'm still going to class each week, but it's been mainly to see my jewelry friends. Oh, I've been working while in class, but it's been a lot of experimentation -- playing with different colors, techniques, etc. Unfortunately, I haven't made a good enamel piece in a long time.
There are a couple of reasons for this, I think. My energy has been focused on fused glass for the past few months. Working with dichroic glass is something I've been wanting to do for years; now that I can work on it every day in my own home, I'm putting a lot of time into making those pieces.
Also, to be honest, the enamels just don't sell as well as the glass and wire wrapped jewelry. I usually sell an enamel or two at fairs, but I only do a few fairs each year. I've only sold a handful of enamels online.
Last year, I spent weeks completing my enamel Christmas ornaments... and they barely got a glance at shows. It was disheartening to put in all of that work to make a product that just won't sell.
But then a few days ago, I actually sold one of my enamel necklaces through my Etsy store -- this blue pendant with red roses and silver cloisonne work:
I hadn't thought about this piece in a long time and remembered how much fun I had making it. I created it during my first year of enameling and was so thrilled when I got the cloisonne roses to stay in place. The chain was made during the holiday sale at the 92nd Street Y. Because I registered late, I was put on the second floor with a few other "late" vendors and we had a blast hanging out. We all managed to make some good sales, too! But I made that chain while I was passing the time up there.
While packing up this piece, I told myself that I need to make an attitude adjustment. Yes, I make my living from selling jewelry, but do I really need to sell everything I make? Why can't I just create some pieces for fun? It would actually be a relief to make some jewellery without having to worry about what the customer thinks.
I have four enameling sessions left before the Y goes on summer hiatus. I'm determined to finish two pendants during that time and to remind myself why I love enameling. This wonderful technique has been on the backburner for too long.