Cloisonne Workshop with Dorothy Cockrell

Christine Sinclair


As a new member this was my first visit to the Conference also my first experience of cloisonné. On returning home the next day was spent exploring the possibilities of this new technique – re-finding my interest in enamelling which had previous to this lesson started to wane!

Dorothy displayed various enamelled items and explained how to use the wires to give various textures and effects. The work that she had done was spectacular and inspirational. With our piece of fine silver or copper covered with silver foil we glued our ribbon wires to the work using a gum solution in our chosen design. When the glue was dry silver flux was sprinkled over and fired.

The fun part was adding the colours and building up the layers using wet transparent enamels. Dorothy told the group to keep the colours separate when working initially as the colours might leak under the wires. I must confess that despite this instruction I just had to put all my colours on at once! – Due to luck they did not leak! The work was finished by rubbing down wet, re-firing - and there was my first cloisonné item.

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