Archive for The Crucible

Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry and Objects – a workshop with Melissa Cameron

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Are you the magpie always collecting bits of rusty steel on the street? Are there bits of magnetic metal in your studio that you’ve tucked away, swearing that one day you’ll clean them up to make a masterpiece? Bring your rusty recycled bits and bobs to The Crucible in Oakland to learn the skills to turn these into beautiful and unique jewels.

This class will involve diagnosing scrap metals to find their suitability for enameling, proper enamel-on-steel surface preparation, liquid and sifted enamel application, trivet modifications (with titanium wire), and firing tips for steel. It will also include design tips for getting the most out of the enamel parts and to assist each participant in making their found pieces into wearable jewels and beautiful objects.

Attempts to Kill -vitreous enamel, recycled steel tortilla pan, titanium, stainless steel

There is great narrative potential with steel and enamel, owing to steel’s strength and durability over the other enamel metals. It can be used over much larger expanses, while remaining unexpectedly light. Steel is a chameleon, able to be used in luscious, precious looking works and the complete opposite, textured and dramatic displays, all able to be supplemented by the natural decay of steel. These inherent characteristics add richness to the colors and effects of enamel, and make it the ideal contemporary jewelry and object material.

 

Melissa Cameron was born in Perth, Australian in 1978. (BA interior architecture, Curtin University, Perth, 2002, MFA and metalsmithing, Monash University, Melbourne, 2009) She relocated to Seattle in 2012.

Melissa’s works have been exhibited worldwide and are in several prestigious collections. She has participated in enamel residencies in the UK and Germany and the Penland Winter Residency in the US and her pieces are featured in Jewel Book, Art Jewelry Today 3 and Lark Books’ 500 Silver Jewelry Designs, as well as the upcoming Tales from the Toolbox: Narrative Jewellery, edited by Mark Fenn. She is the recipient of multiple grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and a Fellowship grant from Artist Trust in Seattle. She has presented papers at many conferences and symposia. Her writing appears on Art Jewelry Forum. She currently serves on the Metalsmith Magazine Editorial Advisory Committee.

Melissa regularly teaches workshops  in Seattle, and was one of two featured enamelists teaching and presenting at the Enamel Guild Northeast Conference in 2015.

She recently won a best of show award for her pieces in the 2017 Alchemy 4 exhibition sponsored by the Enamelist Society.

Workshop Hours:

Wednesday – Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM , with meal breaks

Cost: $425 plus $20 materials fee

Materials List: Provided upon registration or when ready

Registration: Limited to 12

Refund Policy: No refunds unless your workshop position can be filled by another person.

Lodging, Meals, Transportation:

Coming from out of town? Check AirBnB, Priceline, and other discounted online lodging sources, The Center will try help you make your stay comfortable and stress free while you are a workshop participant.

Register Now

The Alchemy of Copper Oxides – a workshop with Kristina Glick

Register Now – Registration Deadline is June 30

This workshop will explore the dynamic interaction between glass, copper and heat. When layered and fired with understanding and skill it is possibleto harness the oxides inherent in copper to create a entire range of vibrant colors while using only clear and white enamel. This technique is experimental in the way that it relies on oxides present in the copper substrate to provide color rather than relying on pigmented enamel as is the norm in most enameling. It also requires the use of a wider range of firing temperatures and techniques than are used in traditional enameling, as well as strategic thinking about how glass and metal interact in the activating environment of the kiln. Another experimental aspect of the workshop is the use of liquid enamels. While liquid form enamels have become much more  common among artist in the past 20 years, there are still many aspects of the medium that are not fully explored and many enamelists continue to exclusively use traditional jewelry enamels. One of liquid enamel’s unique qualities is how its fine grains allow for very fine line sgraffito which makes it ideally suited for layering. Another is its ability to absorb and interact with copper oxides as well as its suitability for creating striking visual effects when combined with exposed areas of heat patinaed copper. This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels.

Kristina Glick is a metalsmith, enamelist and educator currently living in Northern Indiana.  She is an Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Hershberger Gallery at Goshen College (IN).  She has taught enameling and jewelry making workshops across the country, most recently teaching the 2016 eight week fall concentration at Penland School of Crafts in NC.  Kristina has exhibited extensively and her work has been published in several books including 500 Gemstone Jewels and 500 Enameled Objects.  Kristina earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Goshen College in 1997 and an MFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University in 2007.  In addition to enameling, her work often combines found objects and traditional metalworking techniques into pieces that are rich with color, texture, and unexpected details.

Krisitina Glick: Lament for the Perpetual Loss of Permanance

Workshop Hours:

Wednesday – Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM , with meal breaks

Cost: $425 plus $20 materials fee

Materials List: Provided upon registration or when ready

Registration: Limited to 12

Refund Policy: No refunds unless your workshop position can be filled by another person.

Lodging, Meals, Transportation:

Coming from out of town? Check AirBnB, Priceline, and other discounted online lodging sources, The Center will try help you make your stay comfortable and stress free while you are a workshop participant.

Register Now

 

Quick and Dirty: Garbage Can Kilns and Sewn Foil Vessels – a workshop with Ana Lopez

Register Now – Deadline extended until June 28

This workshop breaks down the need for expensive equipment or even a stationary studio. Participants will learn how to build their own low-tech, portable, torch-fired kilns from metal garbage cans. This system can be scaled to allow for the firing of large pieces without having access to a big electric kiln. We will also be making some quick vessels from copper foil using common cold connections such as sewing and rivets, then applying liquid-form enamel and firing them in our kilns. This workshop has the potential to expand access to enameling for those who are not ready to make the financial commitment to a large kiln. The immediacy of the vessel techniques provides a means of volumetric construction for those who may not have access to forming tools. Both the kiln and vessels support an immediacy of making, that is not often associated with the preciousness and labor-intensive experience of fine enameling. Artists who do not consider themselves to be enamelists may be attracted to this less demanding entry point. All skill levels welcome.

Ana M. Lopez is a metalsmith, educator and decorative arts scholar. Her creative work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She is the author of the reference book Metalworking Through History: An Encyclopedia, published in the Spring of 2009 by Greenwood Press, as well as numerous other scholarly articles. She organized the 2007 international biennial exhibition of the Enamelist Society, chaired the 2010 Education Dialogue for the Society of North American Goldsmiths annual conference, served as a Beta Site Testing Faculty for the craft textbook Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, served as juror for the 2016 Materials Hard & Soft national exhibition and has lectured extensively on her own work. She holds an MFA in Metalsmithing from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and an MA in the History of American Decorative Arts from The Smithsonian Associates and Parsons School of Design. She is currently Associate Professor and Area Coordinator of Metalsmithing & Jewelry at the University of North Texas where she also teaches The History of Craft.

Technical Article_ “A Large Scale Torch-Fired Enameling Kiln” by Ana Lopez – Society of North American Goldsmiths

Find out about how Ana Lopez came to design and build (and fail and build and fail and build and then build again) a large, torch-fired enameling kiln. This article appeared in  a 2013 SNAG news blog.

copper teapot ready to be fired in trash can kiln

Workshop Hours:

Wednesday-Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM , with meal breaks

Cost: $375 plus $60 materials fee (participants will each be taking home a small trash can kiln)

Materials List: Provided upon registration or when ready

Registration: Limited to 10

Refund Policy:

No refunds unless your workshop position can be filled by another person.

Lodging, Meals, Transportation:

Coming from out of town? Check AirBnB, Priceline, and other discounted online lodging sources, The Center will try help you make your stay comfortable and stress free while you are a workshop participant.

Register Now

Enamel as Glass: Not So Radical!

Two recent workshops help re-define enamel’s place in the art world.

Duane Fitzgerals_Bowl2-2100 (1)

A very glaze-like treatment of enamel by Duane Fitzgerald, “Bowl II”

Sometimes similar ideas appear in unrelated places and then turn out to be related after all, in what I think of as an ‘archetype’ in the Jungian sense of the word.  This is what has slowly been happening in various corners of the art and craft communities, as makers of all kinds are treating enamel more as a glass, and less as simply a glaze for metal. Read More →