A friend of mine and fellow artist Penny McCall called me up the other day and said she was helping a friend clean out her stuff and asked if I wanted her kiln. Duh!!! And not just one month ago I was telling my Metal clay class how I needed to manifest a burn-out kiln to go with the centrifug I had recently acquired from Syd's Nephew Mike. Since I don't have the rest of the equipment for casting I could use the kiln for enameling.
A client recently ordered a necklace with one of my enamel faces. As I was setting the face in the silver bezel I cracked it! I took it as a sign that I needed to paint some more faces, and while using the old method of torch firing I had so many mishaps I decided it was time to set up an enamel studio in my garage as the Art Clinic doesn't have enough ventilation being in the basement.
When painting with enamel, you have to layer the paint slowly so building up the face takes about 5 layers that enter the kiln.
Above is after 3 firings, with the fourth layer ready to put in the kiln. I never know exactly how it will look after the heat. Red is a tough color as it tends to sink in to the under layer- I am probably using the wrong terms as I am basically self taught in this process. I have read as much as I could find, and took one class at SBCC Adult ED. and the teacher wasn't talking about painting the sort of detail I wanted.
Here they are out of the kiln, still cooling.
Now cool, I can see I need to add a few more layers. Working so small I have to use my magnifiers, and though you cannot see the fine detail with the naked eye, the effect you do see,the depth created cannot be achieved without layer upon layer of paint. As with every other art making endeavor, it takes time- I had to make myself go to bed last night as I have to get Ruth off the school in the AM, but I could have painted more!!!
Of course they look so much better in person as my photos really do not show them off well.
You can tell I am pleased with these little beauties. I can't wait to get back in the studio!!!