Archive for August 2016

Making It Happen

This is the third in a series of guest posts by the enamel artist Kat Cole. This post previously appeared on her blog

1467820428211Now that I had found a location and community that could provide tools and support, I needed to find a way of funding this project.  Last year, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs had begun a new micro-grant project for artists.  To qualify, the project would need to be completed within the city and be of benefit of the community.

These posed interesting parameters for me since I have never worked in public art or outdoor sculpture. Porcelain or liquid-form enamel is most often used for exterior projects because the glass will not fade or corrode over time.  


“Crossroads” installation site, at the corner of Akard and Beaumont

I needed a specific location for the piece and was connected with the owner of 1730 S. Akard St, a single story, square brick building, in the Cedars that would be quite unremarkable if it were not completely covered in graffiti.  I felt this would be a perfect setting for these mostly white enameled panels, and an opportunity for a collaboration of sorts with the local street artists.  With the owner’s blessing, his building will be the temporary installation site of Crossroads.

1467820767907The final element to the proposal was to finalize plans with KVO Industries and Judy Stone to get the work to California to enamel and then back to Dallas to install. The grant that I received does not cover all expenses of this piece, but it does provide the bulk of the money for materials, shipping, travel, insurance, and studio rental costs. Below is the project description that I proposed for the grant:

Project Crossroads. I am seeking funding for a site-specific wall installation in the Dallas Cedars neighborhood.   As an urban industrial area in transition, it is well-suited for this piece.  An architecturally inspired series of vitreous enameled wall panels will be installed at 1730 S. Akard St in the heart of this historic neighborhood.  The brick facade of this building already has graffiti and tags and is situated between a community garden and local BBQ restaurant, Lee Harvey’s, on the corner of Akard St and Beaumont St.   

1467820835851These five steel and enamel panels will float above the work of these other urban artists.  The shapes of the panels will come from the surrounding architecture and the fused-glass surfaces will use imagery of old hand-drawn maps of the city and street views from the late 1800’s, a high point of this neighborhood.  The imagery, forms and colors are a blend of the past and present of Dallas.


Left: Akard St, 1895 Right: Akard St., 2016

Looking Back to Look Forward

by Evelyn Markasky

Version 2

Detail of Fred Ball piece from the exhibition Little Dreams in Glass and Metal

The Center for Enamel Art is not just a place to take workshops. It also provides opportunities to experience enameling in new and and even life-altering ways. For me, the Center’s bus tour of Fred Ball’s work in Sacramento was this kind of opportunity.

Led by Susan Willoughby, art advisor, long-time leader in the Sacramento art community, and the executor of Ball’s estate, the tour was very well-organized and planned. (Added bonus: We didn’t have to think about driving or parking!) We were taken to some of Ball’s most spectacular public works, Read More →

Getting Started

This is the second in a series of guest posts by the enamel artist Kat Cole. The post was previously published on her blog. 

blog post 2 image 1I have made large enameled work previously, but I have always felt handicapped by the size of the kiln available. Scale and proportion decisions had to be made based on the interior dimensions of the kiln.  More than once, I thought a piece would fit in the kiln only to realize Read More →

Project Crossroads

This is the first in a series of blog posts by the enamel artist Kat ColeCole, who has been making distinctive enameled steel jewelry, met Center for Enamel Art founder Judy Stone last year when Cole taught a Radical Enameling workshop for the Center. Stone encouraged Cole to explore the expanded use of industrial materials in her work, and connected her to KVO Industries, a partner of the Center for Enamel Art, where Cole created a large sculptural piece. Cole’s posts, which she is also sharing on her own blog, give insight into her practice and process as she brings a new scale to her work.

blog 1 image 1New things are happening in the studio.  Actually, it is a new studio, acquired to make room for a very large new project.

For almost ten years I have been exploring the often complex relationship between vitreous enamel and steel.   I love the variability of the steel alloys I use in my work as they bond with the enamel in the kiln.  One of my key interests in steel is the ability to shift scale from the minute to the monumental. Read More →