Enamelling on Copper.


Hoylake Community Centre, Wirral CH47 3AG


Saturday 30th March 10am to 4pm


£75 (reduction on class fee to £60 or £50 if 5 or 6 places filled)

Maximum class size of 6 to allow for individual tuition.


Please email Tilly for full details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Well the nights are drawing in and the heating’s coming on earlier and earlier, but I love this time of year. First nature has its vibrant say with the changing of the leaves, time to spend happy moments crunching through nearby woods. Then the colourful lights go up in the towns and houses; I have to admit to being a real kid and get just as excited as my children as Christmas approaches. Following that, if we are lucky enough, a covering of clean, white snow to throw, make snowmen with and slide down slopes on; also good inspiration for some Grisaille enamelling.


This leads me nicely onto next year’s conference in York (5th-7th April 2013) and the exciting tutorials available; these are elaborated on elsewhere in the journal. Once again highly gifted enamellers have given their time and enthusiasm to provide a wide range of tutorials and talks, to whom I would like to send a huge ‘thank you’ in advance. Without them, conference would not be possible. I hope many members will find a tutorial of interest and be able to attend, and that many of you will share your creations in the members’ exhibitions, including the themed exhibition, which will be ‘All the fun of the fair’. I look forward to welcoming our bursary winner Scarlett Cohen-French to conference and seeing her work exhibited; many thanks once again to our joint sponsors WG Ball, Craft&design magazine and Vitrum Signum for continuing to fund the bursary award.


Sadly I have to announce that David Alexander-Smith of Vitrum Signum, one of the most longstanding supporters of our Guild, passed away in October this year. Our thoughts are with his wife Mo and family, who I know have been very grateful for all the well wishes they have received from Guild members. Mo has advised us that Vitrum Signum is open for business as usual.


I have been lucky enough to meet many of you at your regional meetings, thank you for making me so welcome. Since my last letter, Region 3 gave me the opportunity to ‘go big’ and create an A4 piece at M&CT’s factory. Thanks to Chris and Mary Taylor for opening their factory to let us all have a go. This is something I have wanted to try for ages so I was thrilled to be able to attend and am quite pleased with my final piece; thanks to Tilly for her design advice! As I write this I am about to attend the Region 1 & 2 annual weekend meeting so am rather excited, having been told I’m ‘in for a treat’.


Along with the opportunity to start to understand how the Guild works, get to know the executive committee members better and learn how much work goes on behind the scenes, I have most enjoyed my trips to regional meetings in my time as Chair. These visits have allowed me to meet Guild members and see what everyone is doing.


As a Guild member you are welcome at any of the regional meetings, all that the regional reps ask is that you phone to let them know you are interested in attending a meeting as some venues are pushed for space. Full details of what’s on in the different regions and how to contact the regional reps can be found in the journal or on our website www.guildofenamellers.org.


Each artist may submit ONE button only for the display.
We are looking for a special, showcase button that demonstrates your art and skill.
You may wish to explore ideas of silk, Macclesfield, Metamorphosis (the Barnaby theme), heritage, skills, among others.  We are looking for something that will be different from the other buttons in the show.
The button can be up to 1.5 - 3 cm wide x 1.5 - 3 cm high x 3cm thickness and can be made from any reasonably durable and safe-to-handle material.  They don’t have to be round.
The button must be functional as a button.
The button must have a loop on the back or 2 or more holes in the button itself to enable it to be fixed to a backing cloth.


Who can take part?

The Button Project is open to artists, designers, makers and craftspeople. All buttons received by the date below will be exhibited.


A highly engaging display for press and public alike

The Buttons will make a stunning display. We already have promises of over 100, ranging from fabric and thread, plastics and wood, precious metals and glass.  The collective display will be to die for, and the individual buttons highly collectible.  Not to mention an engaging story for press and public alike.


Want to make more?

You may submit ONE button only for the display.  However, depending on your technique, some of you may find that it is more economical to make a set. You may submit up to three additional buttons as a set, to be sold separately. The price of each of these buttons must be the same as your single display button.



Deadline for receipt of expressions of interest: 4 March 2013 (but earlier if possible)

Delivery of Buttons to the Heritage Centre: 29 April - 4 May 2013

Deadline for receipt of photographs of buttons: 4 May 2013 (but don’t delay, send one as soon as you have it!)

Dates of show: 14 June – 8 August 2013

Opening event: Friday 14 June 6-9pm 2013

Collection of unsold work:  26-30 August 2013


Queen Ethelburga’s College, Thorpe Underwood Estate, York. Y026 9SS


For 2013 we are returning to Queen Ethelburga’s College near York, which some of you will remember from the 2009 conference. The college is about 6 miles east of the A 1(M) and 12 miles west of York. For those travelling by train we hope to organise a coach to and from York railway station.

Queen Ethelburga’s is a well equipped school with a mixture of old and modern buildings. All our bedrooms will be en-suite (shower) and are near to all other facilities. The rooms can be configured as either singles or doubles as required (but with no cost benefit for doubles). Towels and tea and coffee making facilities and fresh milk will be provided, but please bring your own toiletries, T bags, coffee etc. Hair dryers are wired in to all rooms so no need to pack them. There is ample parking at the edge of the school site and we have been assured that golf style buggies will be available to transport people and luggage from the parking to the main buildings.

The tutorials will be held in the science labs so that sinks and water will be available. Unfortunately there are no lifts to the labs, if this is a problem for any delegates we can arrange for at least one tutorial to be held on the ground floor. Please add a note about any mobility or access requirements when completing the application form. We are fortunate to have a good range of tutorial topics to choose from, thanks to the continued support of our excellent tutors.

The suppliers will be in the Phoenix centre adjoining the main school building, which is also where the exhibitions, master class and speaker meetings will be held, so everything is quite close by. Please do bring work along to the exhibitions both themed and general, it is so wonderful to see the amazing range of work people have been doing.

This is my first year as conference secretary, so it would be a great help if you could send applications as soon as you can, you also have more chance of getting your first choice of tutorial if prompt. If you have any queries please do call me on 01900 823095, if I am out please leave a number and a message and I will call you back. Alternatively contact me on e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in April.
Jane Sheppard, Conference Secretary


Workshops at the 2013 Conference:

Experimenting on Steel with Lesley Miller
Techniques such as sgraffito, stencilling, riso, cloisonné, stamps, etc. are all possible when working on steel, but the effects can sometimes be quite different.
We will use pre-enamelled steel with either just a ground coat which is a dull grey or with a coat of white enamel over the ground coat. Tiles measuring lOOmm square or 100 x 60mm will be available and we can also experiment with thinner, white enamelled steel. This is thin enough to be cut by hand if you want.
Steel gives a more stable base than copper, but you will not get the some of effects obtained by the copper showing through or affecting the colour of the enamels. However, you will be able to obtain a range of different effects, particularly by under firing. Transparent or opaque enamels can be used, leaded or unleaded and even gold or silver foils.

Grisaille with a Twist with Bonnie Mackintosh
‘Grisaille’ is a traditional enamelling technique (from the French, meaning ‘greyish’) in which veils of white painting enamel are built up over a dark ground to emphasise highlight and shadow, often to dramatic effect.
My own method of execution is non-traditional and can employ both wet and powdered enamels, painted, splattered, stencilled, sgraffitoed, and screen printed. Added materials (the ‘twist’) might include glass millefiori, powdered lustres and firescsale.
Not being a painter, my subject matter- like my methods — is non traditional, allowing for the maximum of ‘play’.
For the Conference tutorial, I will suggest a choice of ‘theme’ around which to base the day’s experimental enamelling, but that will remain my secret for now...

Riso Screens from Image to Enamel with Dorothy Cockrell
We will cover suitable images, making and mounting screens; suitable enamels and various ways of using them; trouble shooting and how to prevent problems. I will bring a laptop, scanner and laser printer as well as the Guild Thermofax so that we can make some screens in the workshop if desired, also my own stock of existing screens. Participants can experiment with using screens on any shape of flat copper or prepared steel blank (up to 4” square).

Wireless Cloisonné on Silver with Jane Short
I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in a small cloisonné enamel factory in Japan this spring and was briefly shown a piece of wireless cloisonné work in progress. In this technique high cloisonné wires are glued onto a pre-enamelled background, a thickly laid enamel is packed around the wires, which are then deftly removed before firing. We will spend our time in the workshop experimenting with this technique on a small scale on silver to see what possibilities this might open up.

Non-traditional Mark Making for Enamelling with Jessica Turrell
During the day Jessica will discuss and demonstrate a number of non traditional mark making and patterning techniques in the context of her own practice. These will include wet-pen and stamp application, layering and abrasion plus techniques for altering the surface of the underlying metal and how this affects the subsequent layers of enamel. During the day attendees will have the opportunity to create their own samples of the techniques demonstrated.

Enamel Painting with Keith Seldon
A short demonstration on how to prepare and enamel a plate/link ready for painting and then how to put down an outline and paint something of your choice.
I will have silver links enamelled white ready for painting. If you want a different colour to paint onto I will bring blank pairs for you to use, but let me know, and this will cut down the time for painting. Or bring something of yours already prepared.
I will show you how to paint the links, or your choice of item, but please try and keep it simple, and if not, be prepared to work quickly on the day. The process takes time and patience.