Wet Process Enamel with John Ball

Christina Mepham

John Ball started the workshop by presenting the entire class of 10 Students with an extensive range of large pots of liquid enamel, 16 colours plus white, flux, and black. To our amazement he told us we would be allowed to keep all the enamels after the workshop - such a generous gift. Because of this we had no inhibitions about using them and even being a little extravagant.

John started the day by explaining the many advantages of using the material. Curved surfaces like bowls and sculpture can be covered in a stable way for firing. A colour may be applied and then a different one may be introduced which will mingle together when fired for an interesting abstract design. Two or three colours may be poured or painted into each other in a similar way to wet into wet oil painting. One colour may be put on to the work then fired, a second coat put on- when this is dry it may be drawn into with a scriber (steel knitting needles make good tools).