There is something exquisitely beautiful about handcrafted creations. Machine made can not compare to the skill and precision that goes into making something by hand. Our eyes miss no details, and with each piece laid in to place a memory of that moment is etched into our brains. Not only creating an object that you will treasure for years to come but a fond rewarding memory.
When the enamelling technique is applied to jewellery and plaques, it becomes a work of craftmanship transforming an object of decoration into something beautiful.
What it is – ‘Vitreous enamel, also called porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C (1,380 and 1,560 °F). The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating. The word comes from the Latin vitreum, meaning “glass”. (From Wikipedia)
Did you know – Enamelling is an old and widely adopted technology, for most of its history mainly used in jewellery and decorative art. Since the 19th century, enamels have also been applied to many consumer objects, such as some cooking vessels, steel sinks, enamel bathtubs, and stone countertops. It has also been used on some appliances, such as dishwashers and more. (From Wikipedia)
To find out more, meet expert Enamellist, Katie Sanderson and give the technique ago yourself, join us at our Enamelling workshop on Sunday 8th September 9.30am to 3.30pm.
The beauty of working with glass is that the possibilities are endless. The technique is simple yet challenging, creative and informal. The skills learnt when creating your chosen piece isn’t just about the design process, but also the techniques applied to cutting and shaping the glass to the desired shape. The placing of the glass pieces has to be decided carefully. Always keeping in mind what the finished product will turn out like once fired. The jagged edges become softer and rounder as the layered pieces fused together to create something unique, personalised and memorable to you.
Technique – Most contemporary fusing methods involve stacking, or layering thin sheets of glass, often using different colours to create patterns or simple images. Placed inside the kiln and heated through a series of ramps (rapid heating) and soaks (holding the temperature at a specific point) until the separate pieces begin to bond together. The longer the kiln is held at the maximum temperature, the more efficiently the stack will fuse, eventually rounding the edges of the original shape. Once the desired effect has been achieved, the temperature is brought down quickly through the range of 815 °C (1,499 °F) to 573 °C (1,063 °F) to avoid devitrification. The glass is allowed to cool slowly over a specified time, soaking at specified temperature ranges which are essential to the annealing process. This prevents uneven cooling and breakage and produces a strong finished product. (From Wikipedia)
Meet our expert and glass tutor Katherine Wilson at her next workshop:
Fused Glass Christmas decorative tags – Saturday 8th December 9.30am to 12.30pm
Fused Glass Jewellery – Saturday 8th December 1.00 to 4pm
Stained Glass creations are rewarding, personalised, sometimes challenging and a little fiddly at times, but the outcome is undoubtedly worth it.
Not only used for windows, stained glass is becoming an increasing popular craft and more personalised. Offering a large range of shapes and bright dynamic colours to your home each piece is unique and handmade. Created in 3 stages the first part is similar to the glass fusion technique where you learn to shape the glass by cutting and grinding. Then comes the foiling part where each edge is covered in a copper foil to protect the glass. Finally, parts that need to be joined together are soldered to form the final structure. The finishing touches include a good polish , then hung by a window to capture the light brings the colours to life.
Come and give it a go, next Stained Glass Workshop is on Friday 22nd November 10am to 3.30pm