Copper and Enameling

Today our workshop focused on copper and enameling, for inspiration I looked back at my photographs from London Design festival.

I think what attracted me to these pieces was the repetitiveness of the work, previously when i worked with copper i felt that the process it self was very repetitive so this is how i linked both together.

I started by piercing a circle out of the copper by using a piercing saw, then i used a punch to create multiple starting points for drilling, this helped accomplish the repetitiveness of the work. To start doming the piece I annealed the copper until it turned glowing red, this softened the copper which makes it easier to manipulate. I used a leather sand bag and a round planishing hammer, slowly working in rings from the inside of the circle outwards. After i was happy with the form I annealed the piece again and to add texture to the piece and highlight the repetitiveness of the holes i used a doming block and a doming punch on every hole.

After I finished the from i wanted to experiment with the enamels. I cleaned the piece thoroughly with wet and dry paper to get rid of the grease, this ensures that the enameling powders will stick on to the copper while it’s heated.

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The form reminded me of a coral so i wanted to use colours which would relate to the sea. My first experiment was using ‘Ivory’ so i could see if i would benefit from a base cololur, i left it in the kiln until it reached 800° which was a bit too much, we can see how the edges were burnt but I really liked this effect, it looks raw and organic which will help add character to my piece. I tried using the ivory as a base again but adding a layer of transparent glazes on top which were ‘leaf green’ and ‘electric blue’ the highest temperature they reached was 795° which worked well with the ivory base, there wasn’t much burning on the edges. I experimented with a deeper base colour to see if the transparent glazes were strong enough to come through but they weren’t.

For my form I decided to try ivory enamel all over the piece and I’m very happy with how it turned out, I like how the burning on the edges accentuates the repetitiveness which is what I wanted to achieve.

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