More enameling joy

Two more total coups for the weekend:

1) Remember that line of enamels I did a while back, that I thought was ruined? (there were a ton of them, and they were all cracking and bits coming off.) The guest teacher took one look, and told me how to fix them. Fingers crossed, and still a big job to go back and touch them all up — but they are not headed for the recycle bin after all, they are headed for the display case!!

2) Yesterday I negotiated special permission for those of us in the class to continue working on this technique, during the quarter break between classes at the community studio. Epic. Win.

A bit of explanation about that… The workshop was focused on leaded enamels, which are not normally allowed in the Pratt studio. We all bought a supply kit that the instructor Linda Darty put together to try them out. Obviously… leaded are much superior to non-leaded for this technique — they have much better clarity and are much more beautiful. (Think “lead crystal.”)

People get all fearful about the lead, but as the teacher explained, *all* enamels have silica in them (glass, duh) which is really dangerous to breathe; and even non-leaded enamels have cadmium, selenium, cobalt… “Lead’s just the one that OSHA got to first. The others haven’t been fully tested yet, we know they’re bad, but we don’t know *how* bad. So you really have to treat ALL of them as equally dangerous.” And she showed us the precautions to take.

Working with Linda resolved a bunch of problems I’d been having, and I loved the cloisonn√© technique so much that I was thinking I would have to buy a kiln. But since I can keep working in the Pratt studio for the next month I can put that off. (Still gotta pay to rent the studio time, but this is so worth it.) That gets me through both SNAG next week and Norwescon — hopefully I can bust out a lot of work in these next few weeks and then take a breather to see if I really want to keep going with it.

Pics soon, even the samples I made in class are lovely. I’ll hopefully have them completed this afternoon.

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2 Responses to “More enameling joy”

  1. samildanach March 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm Permalink

    Awesome — looking forward to seeing the pieces!

  2. mistymarshall March 1, 2010 at 9:59 pm Permalink

    I can’t wait to see beautiful pics of your cloisonne stuff. It sounds amazing and I am so glad you are having a good time!!!