Trilobite

I have finally finished the piece I started making in the inspiring and educational Linda Darty enameling workshop, and here it is.

This is a champlevé piece and is sterling silver after saw piercing the front panel and soldering this to a slightly thicker back panel both the two are depletion gilded to form a layer of fine silver on the surface.
Sterling silver cannot be enameled directly onto when using transparent colours as the copper part of the sterling silver blackens in the kiln; depletion gilding is a way of forming a layer of fine silver so the transparent are displayed at their luminescent best.

This is the first time I have managed this technique and I love the frosty whiteness of fine silver before its enameled. For colouring I used a selection of greys with silver flux and a tiny amount of a very pale blue with six layers of enamel carefully shaded before being fired, this is what my trilobite looks like.

trilobite

 

I’m very pleased with the result even though I see all the little errors when I look at it, it is a brooch currently but I have a plan to make it wearable as a necklace also.

Here is the back:

trilobite back

 

Samples

Samples!

These are all samples created in the workshop I recently did with Linda Darty, Linda was an amazing teacher overflowing with excitement about her craft and relishing the revival that enameling is currently experiencing. Her enthusiasm for her subject was infectious and her tips and tricks will help me so much with continuing with enameling in the future.

I’m not going to bore you with a picture of every sample I made because there are HEAPS but here are some of my favourites.
Firstly firing a transparent to clear on copper! I Cannot believe that I have be under firing my colours all this time, but no more now my transparent  colours glow against the warm backdrop of copper.

 firing transparents

The other enamel that I found so exciting (and so freeing) was liquid enamel I did a lot of different 2d samples using different undercoats of colour and also with no undercoat at all. Liquid when dried is excellent to scratch through to create delicate drawings, my drawing skills somewhat let me down on this but it was still fun.

liquid drawing

The most exciting thing for me was dipping 3d objects into liquid enamel before firing, this can mean I can get a coat of enamel on my crochet surfaces and I tried this two ways, firstly torch firing the smaller crochet mushrooms and secondly kiln firing the larger, sturdier mushrooms.

torch fired liquid

kiln fired liquid

The main piece I created in the workshop was a champlevé piece; I will take some pictures of that soon, when I take it off for long enough to take a picture.

Jackalopes!

The antlers from my earlier post were created for some little Jackalopes!

Jackalopes are a mythological creature from America and a ongoing taxidermists’ joke, These little critters were created for a recent work focusing on the origins of mythological creatures such as this whilst incorporating the nest I have created previously which is viewable here.

Before antlers and with mum

infront of the window

 

and with the silver antlers.nesting

 

These little jackalopes and mummy Jackalope were hand-sewn and constructed from felt and have plastic eyes (I couldn’t find eyes small enough for the babies so they have plastic beads for eyes).  The colours are modeled on my (not so) little rabbit Ophelia.

This work was displayed in my recent tutorial at uni, the little babies in their eggs were snuggled into the nest and the nest was perched on a crochet covered treebranch “growing” from the wall.
Mamma Jackalope was sitting patiently guarding her young underneath the branch.

jackalopes

Very loving veg.

This may be a sign that I am planting my veggies too close together, but I prefer to think that it just means my veggies love each other.

veggies

 

The housemate and I did some more planting on the weekend and we now get to look forward to watching everything grow and produce lovely spring veg.
I find my veggie garden so soothing, I’m looking forward to warm summer evenings eating dinners made with things grown in my garden while sitting outside watching the sun goes down, with a cocktail or two.

I feel more relaxed already.

Lack of inspiration and workshops.

Sorry for the lack of updating recently, I had a bad week full of a lack of inspiration and a questioning of what I do, Luckily this has been fast followed by an amazing week full of making, process inspiration and learning.

I spent the week at an enameling workshop with Linda Darty, whose passion for what she does is both overwhelming and infectious. I wish it had never ended, I now want to look at ways of incorporating more enameling into my practice, and more inspiration into my life.

Anyway here is a quick image of some of the samples I made, I will do a more detailed post (including the major piece I made) when I have a bit more time and a bit more idea of where I am going.

 samples

It is with renewed vigor (but still some lingering questions) that I am now approaching what I do, I hope this leads to many bigger and exciting things.