Archive for Uncategorized

T Mag Redeems Itself, Mentions Melting Point of Enamel

Last week we posted about T Magazine’s lackluster treatment of enamel in their pages. So it was a pleasant surprise to see enamel featured again in the newest issue, in beautiful close-up — an enameled Verdura cuff set with stones, called the Ravenna (scroll to the bottom of their list).

This time, they even mentioned the melting point. Extra credit! For $79,500, we want all the information we can get. 

Think Big, Really Big! Enameled Furniture Old and New

From the ’30s to the ’60s, large-scale enamel works like signage were common, and so were the industrial facilities that produced them. Artists like Edward Winter and John Puskas made oversized 2D works on steel, and some innovative designers like John Keal added sheets of enameled copper and steel to wood tables.

John Keal for Brown Saltman end tables, hardwood with enameled panels

But in the mid-20th-century, as CEA founder Judy Stone detailed in a post last year, the signage industry declined and enamel was marketed as a kitchen-table hobby. Enamel became almost entirely a small-scale art.

And yet the potential of enamel on a sculptural scale is unchanged. In recent years, a few designers have revived the medium, bringing a jolt of pure color to their forms.

Kelly Wearstler designed this custom bureau with an enameled front for the Manhattan apartment of Leslie Blodgett, founder and former CEO of the cosmetics company bareEscentuals.

Custom cabinet by Kelly Wearstler in brass with enameled front

And the experimental furniture designer Kwang Ho Lee draws on the tradition of enameling in Korea, where he is based. He creates minimalist forms from thick-gauge sheet copper, and then douses them in color. When he first started showing his work, he says, even veteran artisans didn’t recognize the technique, so completely had it disappeared from the public eye.

 

From the Skin series, small table by Kwang Ho Lee

From the Skin series, enamel on copper, cabinet, by Kwang Ho Lee

 

From the Skin series, enamel on copper, chair, by Kwang Ho Lee

 

From the series Skin, enamel on copper, Kwang Ho Lee

Are you or anyone you know working large scale like this? Drop us a note on Facebook or in the comments below.

All pictures copyright Kwang Ho Lee. Find more of Lee’s work here:

on the web, http://www.kwangholee.com/

on instagram, @_kwangho_lee

T Magazine Features Enamelwork — Without Using the Word Enamel

 

The good news is that the latest issue of T Magazine has a lush spread devoted to enameled jewelry and objects new and old. (Click here to read the article.) The luminous boxes of Jean Goulden rub shoulders with the incredible miniature artworks that are Alice Cicolini’s rings and Morelli’s meditation bells.

It’s interesting, though: In the print edition, there’s no mention of the word “enamel.” The text reads, in full: “Through the Looking Glass: An ancient technique gets a new shine when applied to contemporary jewelry and objets.” (The online version has the more Google-friendly (and accurate) header, “Enamel Adds A New Shine to Small Accessories.”)

The photographs are pretty — still-lifes in dusty jewel-tones, the items scattered on shabby-chic dressing tables as though tossed there at the end of some fabulously debauched evening. Care has been taken with a whimsical mix of props –a bowl of candies, lipstick on a wine glass, vintage hotel keys. But the pieces themselves are lost in the scenery, an afterthought, the details and the colors almost too small to see. And those vintage aqua colored Belperron earrings, that pop so nicely on the page? They are made of turquoise and lacquer, says the website. Not enamel.

Just saying. We’re delighted enameled work is getting such prominent billing. And we’ll be even more delighted when everyone knows its name.

A Wealth of Experience: Pat Johnson’s Landmark Book, Enamelling on Copper

 Enamelling on Copper by Pat Johnson

Crowood Press

reviewed by Judy Stone

 

The simple title, Enamelling on Copper, suggests the two most important aspects of this landmark book. Pat Johnson, who lives in the UK, has written a book that draws directly on her wealth of experience with enamel and its interactions with her chosen metal substrate, copper. Perhaps most significantly, she takes the oft-denigrated technique of sifting, or enamel layering using dry applications, and re-introduces it to young enamelists. Read More →

Scott Ellis: Bringing New Growth to an Old Industry

For most businessmen, enameling is an obscure craft. But Scott Ellis has family connections to the industry, and he understood its appeal–and its potential as a business opportunity. His online business, e-namels.com, started as a clearinghouse for surplus enamels, but has expanded to carry an extraordinary range of foreign-made, specialty, and out-of-production enamels. Here, as part of our Tools and Supplies series, Ellis discusses the evolution of his business and how he plans to make life easier for the production artist.

 

Scott Ellis with some of his stock of out-of-production enamels that he sells on his website, http://www.e-namels.com/.

Center for Enamel Art: How did you get started with your business?

Read More →