Where did the summer go? I am writing this in August with the rain lashing down on the windows. I have had a busy summer. I ran an introductory workshop at 20-21 Visual Arts in Scunthorpe during the final weekend of the ‘Playing with Fire’ exhibition where the participants were able to draw on all kind of inspiring pieces for their initial experiments with enamel (some photographs of the results are on http://lynne-glazzard.blogspot.com). I took part in North Yorkshire Open Studios during June and was helped by fellow guild member Margaret Hopley who demonstrated enamelling to visitors by making small butterflies in copper shim and they now adorn the edges of my memo board. We had plenty of visitors and it is always encouraging that people will make such an effort to find the studio as I am a bit off the beaten track.
Margaret and I also demonstrated enamelling at The Tockwith & District Agricultural Show. We had a stand in the ‘Working Crafts’ marquee and had an enjoyable day attempting to publicise the guild; demonstrate enamelling and explain some of the processes involved. This was a busy show although the pouring rain all day made packing up and getting off the showground a little less than pleasant. Both this show and the chance to run the workshop at 20-21 Visual Arts had come through the organisers contacting Erica Speel, our Guild Publicity Officer, who had emailed members in the area to see whether anyone would be interested in participating. I think this highlights the importance of letting Erica know the kinds of opportunities you may be interested in.
In May I joined Dorothy Cockrell in Edinburgh for a workshop organised by Emma Baird for the Art Clay Guild. We had a lively and interesting weekend introducing enamels to participants who were used to art clay and art clay to enamellers. I always enjoy this kind of event as the exchange of ideas is so stimulating. I was lucky enough to stay an extra day and have a go at torch firing enamelled beads with Janet Notman. She will be one of the exciting line up of tutors at next years conference, the planning of which is already well underway.
The early summer has also seen the launch of the Guild’s new website. I know that this has taken a huge amount of work over quite a long period of time with input from a number of people but I would like to say particular thanks to Tom Lundsten and Julia Riddington. It is beautifully clear and easy to navigate and has a wealth of information. It is also possible for members to submit articles for publication on the website. These will be vetted before publication but I hope some of you will find time to submit an article or share tips, techniques and information here.   This also reminds me just how much valuable work is done by our volunteers within the guild, so thank you all!
There have been moments of sadness with news of the deaths of both Geoffrey Winter and Judith Harris. They were both on the committee when I joined the guild and I remember their enthusiasm and their encouragement as I began my adventure with enamel. I only hope I can encourage or even inspire a few more people to join in and enjoy the process of learning to enamel.