Archive for June 2016

How Now Fred Ball?

The Center for Enamel Art is excited to host a guided bus tour on Saturday, June 25, of the work of noted Sacramento enamel artist Fred Ball.

To learn more and to register, click here



Ball sitting in front of tiles for The Way HomeFred Uhl Ball: The Legacy of a Pioneering Artist

Recently, I have been wondering about the legacy of one the most important American enamelists of the 20th century, Fred Uhl Ball (1945-1985). I never met him, though he lived, worked and taught in Sacramento, CA, about an hour from my home, and frequented the supply store in San Francisco where I bought my enamels. But even in absentia, Ball was a mentor to me. His book, Experimental Techniques in Enameling (1972), came out the same year I began enameling professionally, and formed the basis of my journey into enameling.Ball book cover

It was easy to be affected by Ball back then — his influence and presence resonated throughout northern California. He was an icon, the son of well-known Sacramento artists, and thoroughly of the area in which he lived. His work was commissioned and collected by a variety of patrons, and he produced several large-scale wall commissions for both public and private spaces. The most recognizable of his pieces, The Way Home, was installed on the side of a large parking garage in downtown Sacramento, and for many years was the featured image on the front of the Thompson Enamel catalogue.

Fred Ball's The Way Home on side of City parking garage Sacramento

“The Way Home,” installed on the side of a municipal parking garage in Sacramento

An Untimely Death

Ball died young, at a time when his potential seemed limitless. Read More →