Enamelling has a very long history and examples have been found in some Egyptian
tombs circa 2000Bc and on Cyprus during the Mycenean period dating from around
1300BC. When Caesar conquered Britain he found the Celts were already using enamels and many examples of this early craft are to be found in museums all around the British Isles and France.
WHAT IS ENAMELLING
Described as vitreous or porcelain enamel, it is the method of melting or fusing powdered glass to a metallic base of either gold, silver, copper, bronze and lately iron and steel.
The fusing is achieved either in a kiln or recently using a gas powered torch at temperatures of 750 deg C to 820 deg C. This heat causes the powdered glass to melt and flow. It then hardens to a smooth coating.
HOW IS IT DONE
Many lovely colours and patterns can be created by using different techniques, just a few of which are listed here.
Cloisonne is a very old and beautiful method which uses very fine wire to create separate cells of colour. Fine examples of landscapes and portraits exist from medieval times.
Plique a Jour is a technique similar to a stained glass window.
Sgraffito is a method of scratching a design through powdered enamel onto a previously fired surface and refiring.
The club has 2 different enamel sessions using either the kiln or a gas fired torch. Each method yields different looking results. Copper shapes are the main metal used for firing on and also some fine silver.
Kiln firing session is available Friday mornings between 9am – 1pm.
On Friday the members are far from expert but are happy to pass on what they have learned so far.
Torch Firing Session is Thursday 1pm – 5pm.
This is a new and very experimental session the and members involved are teaching themselves as they go along. They are happy to assist other members too.