As we wind down after Christmas, our thoughts turn to this year’s conference which will be held at the University of Kent in Canterbury, 15th – 17th April 2011. Please remember that this is the weekend before Easter. We will be based in three blocks, all near to one another. One will house standard accommodation, one en-suite accommodation and the third will house all our weekend activities, including meals, workshops, talks, library, exhibitions and suppliers.
 
It promises to be an exciting event, with workshop tutorials covering a wide range of subject areas. Bonnie Mackintosh will be exploring the use of silver foil with craft punches, suitable for all abilities; Joy Funnell will be introducing a new technique she has developed with Art Clay silver which lends itself to the use of enamel; Sheila McDonald will be using textiles as a source of inspiration for introducing layering and texturing to enamel; Phil Barnes and Harry Forster-Stringer will be running a joint engraving workshop, using both Gravermax and traditional hand techniques, suitable for those who have a basic knowledge of engraving; Carol Griffin will be creating enamelled pieces for the garden using copper shim in a 3 dimensional way; Tamar de Vries Winter will be using photographic transfers to print on enamel. Further details of all these workshops are included in this journal, and please remember to book early as they fill up very quickly!
 
The weekend will kick off with a fun session of Art Attack, with art teacher/jeweller Lizzie Howe, who will show us how to use coloured acetates to construct a unique kaleidoscope. After dinner and the AGM, Phil Barnes has promised to entertain us with a short talk about his work. On Saturday we will be busy with our workshops for most of the day with an opportunity for feedback before dinner. In the evening, Jinks McGrath will be giving a talk entitled “Jewellery Travels” about her teaching abroad. On Sunday, the Awards ceremony will be followed by a Master Class with Fred Rich entitled “still soldering on”, where he will share his secrets about how he produces his amazing cloisonné pieces.
 
You will have the opportunity to purchase materials and equipment from a wide range of suppliers, including enamels from WG Ball, Thompsons and Vitrum Signum, tools and equipment from Walsh’s and Art Clay from Joy and Glyn. Most suppliers will be happy to bring pre-ordered items to conference for you to collect, thereby saving postage costs – don’t forget to order in plenty of time. The Guild’s own DVDs and videos will be available to purchase, and the library with its extensive collection of books and DVDs will be there for you to browse and borrow.
 
One of my personal favourite activities at conference is the exhibition, which is open throughout the weekend. All members are warmly encouraged to participate, and I always find the great range of techniques and ideas truly inspirational. Please don’t be shy, and do bring something along, even if you are a complete novice! This year’s themed exhibition is “Tea” (or “T”!) so I look forward to viewing your interpretations! I would also like to encourage those of you who have not already done so, to consider submitting your work for selection. It’s a great opportunity to have your work assessed by expert craftsmen and can be a real help in focussing your efforts. Although daunting, I found the experience very rewarding, and the selection team were very supportive throughout Mary Ford (selection secretary) has included information about the process in this journal.
 
I have found this a very busy time now I have embarked upon my final year of teacher training. It has been challenging to produce 2000 word assignments when the most written work I normally manage amounts to the weekly shopping list (come to think of it, with four hungry kids, husband and dog, even that can seem like a dissertation these days!). But I bravely struggle on, and hope to become fully qualified this summer. Meanwhile, my classes at adult education centres and at a retirement home are thriving, and it is good to know that I will be more adept at passing on the knowledge and skills of my craft. I have also enjoyed visiting some of our regions. In September, I took a trip to the Region 4 meeting in Shrewsbury, and was treated to a talk given by our Kathleen Kay about how she combines mixed media with enamel. It was great to see Kath in action, and lovely to meet up with the regional members.
 
In October, I braved the journey north, and enjoyed the hospitality of Regions 1 & 2 at their Edinburgh weekend, where Raymond Jackson disclosed the secrets of simultaneously etching and plating copper. Dorothy’s evening meal was attended by over twenty members, and her pasta was delicious!
 
I have been struck by how friendly and welcoming our guild is, and would encourage you all to try the occasional workshop at a different region. Regional activities are listed towards the back of each journal, and I can guarantee that you will enjoy meeting with like-minded, friendly members. My thanks go to all members of regions 1, 2 and 4 and I look forward to more visiting in the New Year! All the best and happy enamelling,
 
P.S.
I'd like to encourage all members to consider submitting work for the forthcoming Ravenstein exhibition in Holland. This is a unique opportunity to show your talents, and I'd like to thank all those involved in the organisation of this event, particularly Tilly Wilkinson, Lynne Glazzard, Lesley Miller and Ellen Goldman. Further details are included in this journal.
 
 
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This year has flown by and been a very exciting one for me. Since my last letter I have enjoyed a visit to Bath with a group of members, organised by Emily Kelly. We went first to see some enamels from the Holbourne collection currently in storage while the museum is being refurbished. They were laid out on tables for us to examine and gloves provided so that we could handle them if we wished. We were privileged to have the company and expertise of Erika Speel and it was pure pleasure to see Erika in action with her magnifying glass pointing out aspects that assist in the identification and dating of historic enamels. We then went briefly to the art gallery before having tea with the Mayor and his staff and viewing enamelled pieces of the Civic regalia.
 
I followed this by a visit to Region 4 for the workshop run by Jane Moore on using enamel transfers. It was great to meet everyone and Jane put a huge amount of preparation and energy into this very enjoyable workshop.
 
At the beginning of October I went over to the Art Clay Conference on Jersey where Joy Funnell and I each ran workshops. Congratulations to Joy who ran a very successful class entitled Enamelled Accents. Her Venetian inspired enamelled mask was used on all the conference publicity material, she won two awards in the themed exhibition as well as winning the prize draw which was her deposit for a trip to visit Japan next spring.
 
From a personal point of view I am still enjoying my year as artist in residence at Whitby Museum and now have a dual role as I have recently been appointed Deputy Keeper to the museum. I am in the midst of planning and research for a jewellery exhibition at the museum due to open in March next year.
 
The plans for the 2010 conference are finalised (subject to any last minute alterations). The conference will be held at Nottingham University. It is a large out of town campus with good access from the Ml and good transport links. We will be using two buildings on the campus and there is a walk of approximately 10 minutes between the two buildings, but car parking close to each building. Most of the activities will take place in Hugh Stewart Hall. The rooms are all either ground or first floor but there is no lift access. The Dining Hall is one of the rooms on the first floor. I will have some photographs of the venue added to the Guild website but if you have any concerns about accessibility please telephone me or Liz Gilliland to discuss it before booking.
 
I have really enjoyed putting the programme together and it has made me think again about some of the techniques I loved when I first started enamelling. I hope there will be something for everyone - my only problem being that I actually want to do them all! The line up is Dorothy Cockrell, Jill Leventon, Lesley Miller, Janet Notman, Jane Short and Mr Toshihide Ueeda. Ellen Goldman has kindly agreed to devise some fun for the ‘Art Attack’ when we arrive on the Friday evening. Glyn Mitchell is going to give us a short presentation about the beginning of the new region on the Channel Islands and on Saturday evening our speaker will be Dale Devereux Barker. The Masterclass on the Sunday will be by Mr Toshihide Ueeda and having met him and attended one of his master classes a couple of years ago am sure it will be exciting and entertaining to watch.
 
I am very grateful to the Aida Corporation who manufacture Art Clay products and are bringing Mr Ueeda over to our conference. He is a Standing Director of Japan Enamelling Artist Association and a technical supervisor of Aida Chemical Industries Co. Ltd.
 
My thanks go to all of the tutors and speakers who have kindly agreed to give up their time for us. I hope that you get your booking in quickly and look forward to seeing you at Nottingham in April.
 
 
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As we welcome in the New Year Guild members know it’s that time of year when our thoughts are focused on the Guild Conference 2009. This will be a special year for the Guild, marking our thirtieth anniversary and we are going to celebrate it in York at the Thorpe Underwood Estate. This venue is a new one for the Guild and offers us high quality facilities. It is situated ten miles west of the City and a bus link will be provided from York Station for any of you coming by public transport.
 
Conference is a great way to meet other members, take part in workshops and display any of your own work in our main Themed Exhibition. There is also the opportunity to buy tools and materials from our Suppliers, attend talks by invited guest speakers and watch a Master Class on the final morning. It is also a good way to learn more about the Guild in general and meet some of the faces behind the names you see in the Journal. For those of you new to the Guild, if you wish to attend Conference, it is important you book as soon as possible, as places fill very quickly.
 
This year we are offering six workshops during the weekend plus an Art Attack on the Friday afternoon, with Bonnie Mackintosh. This means we can offer more choice and more places for you. The line up for the Saturday classes is as follows; Enamelling on Steel with John Ball, who will show you the process without needing to acid etch the steel in advance, Experimental Leaf and Foils with Ruth Ball, a day of exploring the artistic possibilities, Plique-à-jour with Phil Barnes, learn the free laying method working with silver, Painting Enamels with Gillie Hoyte Byrom, an invaluable step by step guide, Design Development with Sarah Macrae, an inspiring and confidence building day for those who want to improve their enamel design skills and Transfers with Jane Moore, a close look at decals where Jane will share her extensive knowledge on this subject. Full details of each class are listed in the Conference section of this Journal. 
 
The Master Class on Sunday morning will be Engraving – using hand tools and using the Gravermax system. Phil Barnes and Harry Forster-Stringer, both experts in their fields, will demonstrate the two methods of engraving. We also have a very special guest speaker after dinner on the Saturday night. Fred Rich, the internationally renowned enamel artist, has kindly accepted our invitation to join us and talk about his passion for enamel and how he approaches his work.
 
Liana Pattihis, an up and coming graduate from Middlesex University who is currently showing work in The Playing with Fire touring Exhibition as well as outlets in New York and Chicago, will be giving a glimpse into her extraordinary enamel world on Friday evening after the AGM. For those who didn’t made it to the Playing with Fire Exhibition in Devon, note that the show started its UK tour as of November 15th, at the Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford, and is there until 4th January. It will then be going onto the Visual Arts Centre in Lincolnshire from 28 Feb – 9 May. A report by Evangeline Long is featured in the BSOE newsletter, October 2008 edition.
 
Back in late September I went to London to show my work at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, which is always a highlight of my year for many reasons, least of all because the Goldsmiths’ Livery Hall where the show is held is one of the most majestic buildings I know in the City. As ever, many members visited and had a great day out. During this time I was able to set up an affiliation between the Guild and ‘Benchpeg’, a weekly newsletter that offers a signposting facility for the British Jewellery Trade. This means the Guild is now listed on the front page of Benchpeg, where you can easily click onto our name to enter our website. It is free and we can also send specific information that we want listed on the newsletter whenever it is appropriate. If you don’t already receive Benchpeg, have a look at www.benchpeg.com
 
While I was in London I was also invited to the V&A museum to meet with Juanita Navarro who is the Senior Conservator for Ceramics and Glass. Juanita is currently undertaking a research project in her own time looking at the technique of Émail en résille sur verre, French for ‘enamel in a net/network on glass’, or email en résille (EER). The V&A have a small collection of these delicate pieces that consist of a glass base with cavities lined with gold foil and filled with transparent and opaque enamels. I was lucky enough to handle some of them, to discuss how they were possibly made. Juanita is investigating where and when they were made and by whom if possible, with a view to creating a database of the objects and bibliographic references. Although I could not help Juanita with the historical details, Erika Speel kindly briefed me before my visit with the knowledge she holds on this subject. What was supposed to be a one-hour visit turned into four, going behind the scenes at somewhere like the V&A is a wonderful experience!
 
Since that time I have been to Edinburgh to the Region ½ annual meeting, which was held on the first weekend in November. I would like to thank Dorothy Cockrell as Regional Representative for a brilliantly well-organised event and to all the members who made me feel so welcome! We met at the Lapidary Club in Leith and despite a fuse blowing when all the kilns were turned on (Dorothy and Tony quickly sorted it out), Pat Johnson came along and calmly showed us how to make and use Riso screens with dry enamel. It was a rare opportunity for me to have a play with enamel using copper panels, which I thoroughly enjoyed and by the afternoon I had really got into the swing of it and came away triumphantly with two completed pieces.
 

There is still much to be done before Christmas, lots of orders to get out and all that shopping, but by the time you are reading this, I intend to be at home relaxing with my feet up, the cat on my lap sipping a wee dram of a good malt! Happy New Year to you all and I look forward to seeing many of you again at Conference in York.

 

 

 

 
       
Well I hope you’re all booking 28th – 30th March 2008, ready for our conference at Leicester. We will be in a brand new part of the university, with everything very close to hand, and all workshops in one building. All accommodation is new, single ensuite, in blocks of 3-5 with central kitchen area - lift to all floors. I am very excited about our tutors and workshops, as there is something for everyone, whatever your ability or knowledge. From Wet Laying and Colour Mixing with Jane Short; use of a Thermal Imager to produce fine Riso screens with Pat Johnson; Easy Etching with Penny Gildea; Press Forming & Texturing with Jill Leventon; and a chance to put last years Masterclass into practice with Polishing and Finishing with Rachel Gogerly. (Please book early to avoid disappointment, as some workshops are filled within a few days!)
 
On Friday evening, after the AGM, Ellen Goldman will be sharing some of her work and life with us, with an illustrated talk. Then on Saturday evening we will have the opportunity to see what’s been happening in all the various workshops with an exhibition of all work produced and a chance to find out how they did it! On Sunday the Master Class will be given by Sarah Macrae, a very experienced jeweller, teacher and writer, who will be showing us how to be creative on paper, developing ideas and designs for our own work – no excuses for weak sketch books after this class!
 
Don’t forget to bring your wallets too, as we have a wonderful range of suppliers, including beads from Marcia Lanyon, tools and equipment from H S Walsh, Art clay from Joy and Glyn, and enamels from W G Ball, Thompsons c/o John Goldman, and Vitrum Signum. Plus our own DVD’s and video’s for sale, including Rachel’s on polishing and finishing from last years Masterclass. (Most suppliers will be happy to bring pre-ordered items to conference for you, saving postage costs – don’t forget to order in plenty of time).
 
All you need to do now is get busy enamelling, so you can bring all your beautiful work with you to put in our exhibition. Don’t forget the theme Gillie chose for this years conference; ‘Size matters’. I shall look forward to seeing your results!
 
We may also have some visitors from the Institute of Vitreous Enamellers popping in to view our exhibition over the weekend, as I had the pleasure of attending their AGM in September as an invited guest by Chairman Chris Taylor, at the Black Country Museum, Dudley. After enjoying a canal boat ride into the caverns and tunnels under Dudley, (where my husband used to play as a child), we had a very interesting talk from John Ball and then a presentation by their president, Mike Collins, on new techniques of producing full colour digital images in enamel to a very high specification. This was followed by a visit to the archives below the museum where they held many enamel objects in store. If you see John Ball, ask him what he found out that day concerning a painted vase! It was interesting to see how enamel has been used over the years, in the home and in industry, and how well it has lasted - the museum was littered with enamel objects. Well worth a visit if you’re in the Midlands any time. Chatting with some of the IVE members, it was interesting that not all were aware of the more creative aspects of enamelling, so hence the invitation for them to see how ‘we do it’! Check out their website for more details, www.ive.org.uk
 
I have also enjoyed some wonderful visits to Regions 6 and 1, and look forward to meeting members at Region 7 in January. Please do support your local reps and meetings, they work very hard for your benefit and it’s so lovely to develop friendships and work in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
 
Finally, please don’t forget the new ‘Enamel Painting Award’, kindly presented by Gillie at last year’s conference. Also, I would like to add my rather late, but heartfelt congratulations to Gillie, Phil Barnes, Rachel Gogerly, Rachel Emmerson and Hali Baykov for their exceptional awards from Goldsmiths in 2007. It’s even more special that each of these folks have supported the Guild over the years, encouraging and teaching our members, so well done and thank you for your continuing generosity.

 

 
I’m thrilled and honoured to take on the role of this year’s Chairman, and am currently still reeling with the excitement of our recent conference held at Nottingham University. It was such an amazing experience to witness the wealth of talent and enthusiasm of our members. Those of you who were fortunate to attend will now be aware that I am not much of a public speaker, so it’s good to get this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind support, and to let you all know that I shall do my best in the coming year to promote our Guild and to meet as many of you as possible.
 
I started out as a jewellery student in weekly Adult Education classes back in the late 80’s, when the crèche facility at my local centre offered a bit of welcome “me-time” and an escape from children and housework! Now, after twenty-odd years of studying, I am still passionate about my craft and lucky enough to have benefited from tuition with Monica Larkin and Bonnie Macintosh. I began teaching enamelling several years ago, and now work at three different centres in the South East London area. It’s been an interesting experience to be both student and teacher for many years, and I feel I owe a lot to the old Adult Education system, which now appears to be in sad decline due to funding and bureaucracy difficulties.
 
I was introduced to the Guild by Monica, and became a member about eight years ago. It was great to discover a source of so much talent and friendly experience, active and enthusiastic, right on my doorstep! I was immediately made to feel so welcome, and enjoyed my region’s workshops and of course the annual conferences. I became the region 7 rep in 2005, roundabout the time I studied for my City & Guilds under Bonnie, and feel the Guild has always been such a helpful, welcoming group. In 2008, I finally plucked up the courage to enter my work for selection at the Leicester conference. I was truly elated to be awarded Craftsman status, along with the Maureen Carswell award.
 
As regional rep I have witnessed the steady increase in membership, along with a decline in local education courses. Contemporary use of enamels has generated interest from a younger audience, who must now rely on organisations such as our Guild to supply information and training. I think it’s wonderful that we have taken this on board and encourage younger talent with such concepts as the bursary scheme and the new Judith Harris Young People’s Award. So it is with great fondness and trepidation that I take up the Chairman’s reins, and hope that I am able to offer my experience in education to the benefit of the Guild in the coming year.
 
 
 
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