I had the opportunity to attend an Enamel Workshop with Enameller Prof. Sarah Perkins ( Jewellery and Metals, Deptt. of Art & Design, Missouri State University, USA) from the 1st to the 5th of March 2016. I work in many media and took up enameling a decade and a half ago. The medium is fascinating, unpredictable, and exciting. Enamel is a marriage of glass powders and metal with the blessings of the Fire God. Every time you fire a piece you change your composition according to the results of the firing. For me, it is also instant gratification.
Learning from a master is indeed trying to imbibe their many years of practical experience and knowledge in a capsule. Sarah is a wonderful teacher and she had so many innovative tips and easy methods for surface decoration. It was an action-packed five days with a lot of takeaways in terms of knowledge every day. We were 10 enamellers at the Sanskriti Kendra, New Delhi, trying to sponge up all the knowledge Sarah was sharing. Below are some of the pieces we made and some are still work in progress. I have also added the workshop photographs to the gallery.
I have never attempted to work in the three dimensions so it was very exciting to figure out how to hammer a flat piece of copper into an even, symmetrical bowl with ease. Learning to enamel an upright piece, inside out, with an even coating, without letting the enamel slump to the bottom was liberating.
A flat piece of copper
Hammered into a bowl
Made the feet
Learned to solder silver
Enamel on the inside and outside of the same bowls made by me.
The second bowl
This is the bowl I learned to form and the outside still needs work done