I am very busy with work and the house, but somehow also trying to find the time for two enamel commissions.
I am also making a few other pieces in the meantime, since once I put the kiln on it makes little difference for me to make one or several pieces at the same time. It actually helps me keep a rhythm, since there is quite a bit of waiting involved in enamel making.
I won’t say it is always this way (that a batch of pieces is preferable to a single one), since in some cases it isn’t, but for most of the work I do and my working style, it certainly is. And when it comes to my “weak” spot, the setting of the enamels, let me say this is not the case at all! at the end of this, like usual, I’ll be left with a few enamels I won’t have the time, energy or budget to make settings for.
Now, I am not sure if I’ll be allowed to show these commissions once finished, but most certainly not now. I still have some images vague enough, or focused on the “filler” enamels, that I sure can show.
As shown on the picture above, I’ve taken a liking to counter-enamelling pieces first, with no gum, and without firing the coppers alone first (as I learnt in school). So I just wash the back with strong detergent, counter-enamel with a spatula and fairly dry counter-enamel, and fire. I leave the pieces to cool and shed firescale, then pickle. Then I’m ready to enamel the front.
|White opal enamel bases – some opals become transparent
when overfired, then come back on the next firing
This is working very well for me. It may be a huge mistake on thin, flat or very odd-shaped pieces, which may get warped, but these strong domes do beautifully.
|An experiment in my Mist series|
One of my batches is of my Mist series. On two of these, I am experimenting with colour! The blue one is in a way a mix of grisaille and china paint, which in fact all of the Mist series are, but this one in particular, being blue, really reminds me of grisaille in the style of Andreu Vilasis as I learnt in school.
|One of my pyrometres|
I had a bit of a horrid moment when I thought my pyrometre had kicked the bucket, but it was just a burp. I had to unscrew the back of the oven and push it further in. Phew.
|Painting on glass|
|Evaporating oil off china paintings|
|One of the commissions in the early stages|
I am rather set back with my first commission, which thankfully is not urgent (yet! at this rate…) due to the patina for the settings. The enamels are already finished, and in fact, so are the settings, except for the patina and actually setting the enamels in them, and attaching the bead strings, which are also made.
Usually I use a Spanish product to create an “antique silver” or even black finish, like in my Black series.
This product doesn’t last long and what I had left was useless, but I failed to notice this before my latest trip to Barcelona. I really cannot find it online (other than for an exorbitant shipping from Spain) so I decided to try liver of sulphur for the first time. I cannot achieve the same result with it! so I am gonna have some of the patina I am used to shipped by a friend in Spain. Other than the patina, the pieces are nearly finished!
|Iris stole Loki’s seat next to me, so he sat on top of her|