I have been enameling for about 3 years. It’s a difficult art because there are a lot of variables. The first being the color that comes out after you fire your piece. Learning which colors do well and which ones burn out, which is just a matter of time and using a lot of different colors. The other variable is learning about the kiln temperatures and time to leave your piece in the kiln. Since this is a learning curve I don’t think about making masterpieces but playing around to discover what works and what doesn’t, to become more proficient.
The two mediums that you can use to enamel is copper and fine silver. I took a forging/fold-forming class and thought it would be fun to make some shapes and bowls to enamel on. This way I can keep the enameling basic and let the shape of work be interesting/artful. Shockingly my first one turned out great (it’s always daunting when the first one work and your not sure if you will have as much success on the second).
After shaping and cleaning, I put a clear glaze on the inside. I roughly cleaned off the firescale and fired the outside with a clear glaze as well. I love the patina that the copper takes on from the kiln. The shame of it is that you loose some of the depth of the patina when you refire. This is a picture of the first one I did with more pictures to follow. The next ones I will experiment with other colors of enamel on the outside using opagues and transparents.
I love taking a sheet of metal and creating a piece of art with your hands...
With strong visual skills, vivid imagination, and innovative designs, Susan Steger offers the highest quality handmade jewelry, of the finest materials. She produces each piece from concept to finished product herself, with exceptional attention to detail.
Susan was a fine art major at The Ohio State University. Susan is a participating member at the Cultural Art Center in Columbus, Ohio where she developed her craft in the art of metalsmithing and enameling. She is a member of the Florida Society of Goldsmiths and regularly attends the Society’s Metalsmithing program, which features top artists from around the world.
Susan has studied under the guidance of Jean Stark of the Kulicke-Stark Academy of Jewelry Art in New York City and Parsons School of Design, where Susan acquired the skills to design her unique ancient rings and her granulation pieces. At the Cultural Arts Center, Susan has been under the guidance of Juanita Hill, Kristi Kloss, and Collen Baum. Jeweler and educator, John Cogswell, of the State University of New York, New Paltz helped cultivate her metal forging skills in the hills of North Carolina. One technique Susan uses is forging metal in which she fashions copper and sterling silver by hammering to give texture and shape. Her Grecian Boat Earrings are a product of this artistic method. The earrings are a modern design with the same aesthetics as those found in the tombs of Egypt.
- Cultural Art Centerpresent
- The Ohio State University
- University of Cincinnati
- Susan Steger DesignsJewlery Artist, present
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