The process I use in making these "copper enamel" pieces: copper shapes that are cut from a metal sheet, are cleaned and prepared in order to accept the enamel. Multiple layers of fine powdered glass are applied and fused to the metal by firing in a kiln. Some powders are opaque and some are transparent. At about 1500 F the powdered glass melts and fuses to the copper. Stenciled, screened, stamped, painted or embedded decal designs are sometimes added before re-firing.
Fold-forming is a metalworking technique where metal is repeatedly folded, hammered, annealed and unfolded. With one fold, a ridge is formed.
Soldering is done to attach metal pieces together by melting a tiny piece of metal in between using a torch.
Riveting is a way to attach pieces without using a torch. A rivet starts as a piece of wire or tube with a head on one end. The rivet is pushed into holes in the two pieces to be fastened, and the end without a head is hammered to create a new "head" on the other end.
The raku technique involves a firing and smoking of ceramic pieces. The ceramic pieces are first made by forming and firing the pieces of clay in an electric kiln. This is followed by coating some areas with a glaze formulated for raku and re-firing them outdoors to avoid hazardous fumes. Once the glaze is melted, the piece is plunged into a garbage can with wood chips to smoke the areas not covered with glaze, creating the characteristic matt black.
In 2017 I began working with porcelain and I studied with Luca Tripaldi, at La Meridiana in Tuscany. This has fueled my passion for ceramic jewelry and I expanded my skills and vision in this area. Thus ceramic rings and more elaborate necklaces have been added to the collection.
I returned to learn more in 2018!
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
In the end, one assembles the piece. This can be frustrating or extremely rewarding. Sometimes I have an idea of the end goal, but especially during the design phase, there is a lot of playing with options until the right one reveals itself.