Tilly Wilkinson – Drawing with Wire

Rosie Taylor

On Saturday morning of the conference a group of us arrived to discover how to ‘draw with wire’ in a class led by Tilly Wilkinson

Tilly started by describing the issues that many of us find when trying to create Cloisonné pieces and that she began exploring the techniques in this class as a way to use wire to draw pictures on a larger scale on copper and so avoid some of those issues. This technique is not without challenges but working in this way can be very fruitful. Of course, as with any enamelling technique, this can produce challenges – two of which are that the copper may warp and there may be issues with fire scale, but equally looking at Tilly’s examples, we could see the potential of this technique and we were keen to make a start. We began by cleaning our copper using green scourers (or any other preferred method) and then sifting a coat of flux on the copper blank – Tilly recommended sifting a first layer and then rotating the blank by 90 degrees before sifting a second layer as this can give a more even (and thicker coat). Generally the class used their chosen flux or another enamel depending on their preference. (Tilly used Blythe C1 flux, I used TPF242).