Enamel Technique

I work with pre-formed copper bowls and copper sheet.  I then fire each piece with wet process or ground enamels several times, to create dazzling effects. I have an electric kiln which is heated to temperatures around 900 to 920 degrees Celsius.  Each piece will be fired to build up layers of colour.  On a copper bowl, the layers of enamel will slide over several firings and the colours may fuse to reveal further colour combinations, opalescence or golden colours.

Sometimes, particularly when working on a bowl, one surface may be pickled in nitric acid to remove the fire-scale that develops on firing a piece, returning it to its original copper colour.  Pickling may also be done in certain areas to allow the copper oxides, which are made during the firing process, to play a part in the desired design.

Each piece has a unique visual and tactile quality, which I exploit and enhance.  Some are experimental, incorporating both traditional and contemporary enamel techniques. All pieces are one-offs, some involving sifting many thin layers of enamel onto the shapes. The high firing produces is an excitingly fluid, ambiguous explosion of colour and texture!


Inspiration is taken mainly from my collection of cards and my photographs.  I am particularly inspired by landscapes and seascapes, whether this is stormy seas or sea birds.  If we have the time to stand and stare at it, the natural world provides so much inspiration.  The uncontrollable forces of the sea, reveals layer upon layer of exciting textures, colour and detail, which becomes the focal point of some of my enamels.

I like to work with images of amphibians, particularly frogs and geckos.  I have been commissioned to make panel pictures of garden and other tropical birds, some of which are shown in my portfolio of work.

I tend to work spontaneously, allowing the piece to develop from an initial design, then experimenting with layers of enamel, liquid and powder, adding and subtracting to produce a handmade, vibrant, unique piece of artwork.

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