I am honoured to take on the role of chairman for this coming year and would like to thank those who nominated me.

I have gained so much from the Guild and am grateful for the opportunity to ‘do my bit’ to promote the wonderful work the Guild does for enamelling.

I had my first taste of enamelling in 1997 while attending a course run by Bonnie Mackintosh and will be forever indebted to her and Louise O’Neil for opening my eyes to the world of enamelling. The range and breadth of uses to which enamel can be put never ceases to amaze.

I am not an enameller by trade but enjoy it as a form of relaxation, though must admit to many hours of frustration when pieces don’t quite go to plan. Still, it allows me to focus on something artistic and quite different from my working week as a Speech and Language Therapist.

In retrospect, my first conference in 2000 was a real turning point. Only knowing one person made me a little nervous, but I shouldn’t have been worried as I was soon made to feel welcome, learnt so much and made some good friends. This Guild is always welcoming to enamellers, irrespective of length of time enamelling or level of ability.

This year’s conference was another resounding success, thanks to the team for all their hard work in organising it, with particular thanks to Tilly and Liz. The facilities were excellent and the workshops, speakers and masterclass were thought provoking and stimulating.

It was good to meet with the tutors and speakers, especially Carmen Lombardi and her husband who travelled from Brazil to join us. Also to meet David Bainbridge who was awarded Honorary Membership at conference for all his work related to the proposed EU restriction on the use of lead in jewellery. We have recently been informed that the derogation for vitreous jewellery enamel is now official which, in lay terms, means that leaded enamels can continue to be used within jewellery production.

I look forward to meeting as many members as possible over the coming year, especially those who are not able to make it to conference, and to attending more of the events and exhibitions represented by the Guild across the country. A list of events, exhibitions and courses involving Guild members can be found on our comprehensive website www.guildofenamellers.org. This website has gone from strength to strength: thank you to all those involved in its creation and upkeep.

Lastly a date for your diary for next year as the conference returns to the Thorpe Underwood Estate in York (Queen Ethelburga’s College) over the weekend 5th-7th April 2013.