News and Articles
Jenny Edge Masterclass DVD now available at £10 plus p&p
Guild of Enamellers’ Bursary Award 2017
The Guild of Enamellers is delighted to announce Emily Higham as the 2017 winner of their annual Bursary Award. Emily, who recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing, was introduced to enamelling in the 2nd year of her degree programme and experimented with a variety of techniques before being drawn to the sgraffito technique. The Bursary Award will allow Emily to build on her enamelling and jewellery making skills whilst setting up her studio and further developing the “hive” theme.
The Guild is extremely grateful to joint sponsors The British Society of Enamellers, W G Ball Ltd, craft&design Magazine, Milton Bridge Ceramic Colours and Vitrum Signum for supporting the Bursary Award. The prize packages will encourage Emily and the runners-up (Hannah Duncan, Josefina Martinez and Leah Wadey) to further develop their enamelling skills and exploration of the medium within the supportive networks offered.
Both the Guild of Enamellers and the British Society of Enamellers will offer membership, support and networking opportunities to all the applicants as they pursue their enamelling journey.
Bursary applications for the 2018 Award will be available online (www.guildofenamellers.org) from April 2017.
W G Ball are in the process of creating a page on their website dedicated to showing all things enamelling. If any members of the guild would like to send them images of their work or videos, they would love to see them and put them onto the website.
Workshop Report – Casting for beginners Glenbuchat Group March 2016
Laura Selway invited me to do a casting workshop at the Aberdeenshire Group that meets regularly in Glenbuchat. Do get in touch with Laura if you want to go along. I was pleased to have been invited because casting is ‘my thing’, because I’m impressed by the activities of this group and to try out the casting workshop that I’ll be offering in the Algarve this November http://www.endlesssummersurfretreat.com/events-groups/julia-cowei/
Fig 1: Cuttlefish mould ready to pour
In the morning we tried out cuttle fish casting, a slightly hit and miss affair, but lovely when it works. Cuttlefish are available from www.cooksongold.comor your local pet shop. If you collect them from a beach do make sure that they are dry before you pour in molten metal.
Fig 2: Cuttlefish mould poured with silver (hence the burning)
We used pewter as this melts readily and pours well. Unfortunately it can’t be enameled because it melts at a lower temperature than the enamel. (If you Google you can find ways to paint it to look enameled, which I haven’t tried.) It is a really good practice metal for silver casting, as the technique is the same.
Fig3a and 3b: Finished cuttlefish casting
Pewter now is lead free and can be used for any silver-coloured project. Pewter can be bought from www.britishtinandpewtermills.com and melts with a standard d-i-y gas torch.
Fig 4a and 4b: pewter castings
In the afternoon we did oil sand casting, which gives finer detail and is more reliable as a method. It has less character if you like more organic pieces, but is good if you want accuracy.
Fig 5: Oil sand mould just after metal pour
A kit is available from Cookson Gold or a search on eBay will give you more economic options. I also got the handled crucible from eBay. It is really good for pewter pours.
Fig 6: Opening the two-part sand mould
In my work I use a local beach sand and local clay mix that I make up. The sand is re-useable, unlike the cuttlefish moulds, which tend to burn.
Fig 7: Pewter bowl cast in beach sand mix
Fig 8: Silver bowl cast in beach sand.
Last minute opportunity to join the Denmark Experience
Unfortunately, one of the participants for this wonderful workshop has had to drop out, leaving us with a space available for anyone able to drop everything and join us. Cost is £250, which covers accommodation in Denmark from Monday 4th July to Saturday 9th July, giving 4 full days of enamelling, plus evenings. We will be organising a visit to a museum which has a Faberge exhibition on while we are there.