News and Articles

Dorothy Cockrell's Beginner's Guide: back by popular demand

Back by popular demand: Beginner's Guide to Enamelling (Search Press Classics).

Dorothy Cockrell encourages readers to enjoy the delights of this exciting and gratifying craft. Offering easy step-by-step photographs and instructions, she guides the reader through all the different techniques, illustrating how beautiful and unusual effects can be achieved once the basic principles have been learnt.

She discusses how to prepare the metal, choosing and mixing colours and firing methods. More advanced techniques are also included: stencilling, drawing on enamel, sgrafitto, using rubber stamps, working with gold and silver leaf, and more.

You can make jewellery, decorate boxes, create pictures, embellish bowls and produce many unique designs. The vibrant colours and wonderful textures will make you want to experiment and develop your own projects.

Packed with stimulating and innovative ideas, this book will appeal to beginners who want to start a fascinating new craft, and it will also inspire anyone interested in the art of enamelling.

New ISBN 9781782210863

Publication scheduled for 20th September 2014

Beryl Ball 90th Birthday Retrospective Exhibition

Beryl Ball, who was a member of the Guild of Enamellers for quite some years is having an exhibition to celebrate her 90th birthday and would very much like to invite local enamellers to it.

The Exhibition is at The Hayloft Gallery, Ashton Court Mansion, Bristol

Saturday-Sunday, 12-13 July 2014, 10am-7pm

She will be showing enamels, paintings, drawings, ceramics, jewellery, and manuscripts in order to give an idea of what she has worked on in her long, busy, questing, life.

If you'd like to attend please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stefan Knapp in Birkenhead

 A look again at The Stefan Knapp article first posted here in January 2012:

 

Enamelled steel panel by Stefan Knapp at Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead.

At New Year, Tilly and I were looking at late 20th century abstract paintings at the Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead. One large piece in particular caught our eye and took us by surprise as it wasn’t actually a painting at all but an enamelled steel panel about 1.3 metres square. Intrigued, we asked the curator if he could tell us more about it. The artist was Stefan Knapp 1921-1996 and this piece, produced in the 1960's is one of his Ariel Landscapes. The inspiration for these came from his time taking reconnaissance photos whilst an RAF fighter pilot during WWII.

 
 
 
Stefan Knapp was a Polish born artist who, returning to college in 1939 at a time when Poland was being divided into Russian and Nazi territories, was arrested and interred in Siberia. Knapp was released from the labour camp in 1941 having survived for two years and was able to make his way to the UK. Here, he volunteered to join the RAF and became a Spitfire pilot.
 
Post war, Knapp trained at the Central School of Arts in London and then at the Slade and discovered enamelling in the 1950’s. He was a successful artist by this time and able to set up a studio with a kiln capable of taking panels up to 10 feet in length and 4 feet wide. In 1958 he was commissioned to make 17 murals for Heathrow Airport and in 1960 a mural 200 feet by 50 for the façade of a new Alexander’s store in Paramus, New Jersey. This record breaking mural consisted of 280 individual panels with a combined weight of 250 tons and was constructed at West Drayton in an old aircraft hanger.
 
He was to surpass himself though in 1967 with the longest mural in the world for Alexander’s White Plains store. At 1500 yards long and comprising 450 panels, it had to be photographed by helicopter.
 
There is a brief biography of Stephan Knapp on Wikipedia. The information here comes from a very detailed article on him that appeared in Glass on Metal Vol 18, no.3, October 1999. The article is online at www.glass-on-metal.com/pastart/stefan_knapp.htm.
 
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