Tag: process

Prepped copper discs with decals ready to fire.

Merging photography with jewelry

I’ve always been an avid photographer, and with my graphic design background I use photography a lot in my client work. So I was excited to discover I could marry some of my images with jewelry in the form of decals on enamel. I also see decals as a way to finally incorporate some typography into my jewelry. Ideas are brewing.

I connected with enamel artist Anne Dinan who offers an online class. It’s self directed and she creates a Facebook page for students to share work and ask questions. I got a slow start because I was unable to locate a laser printer suitable for printing images on decal paper (all the information is available with class purchase). Anne was nice enough to print my images, but I’ve since found a friend with the right printer if I want to explore more.

The process is simple but has multiple steps. You do have to carve out time for this. It’s a bit of work to get the right results and I am just scratching the surface. As in most of my work, I have to embrace the failures and beautiful mistakes! Essentially you’re transferring the decal to a prepared enameled surface and firing it (either in a kiln or with a torch.) The decal substrate burns off and the toner reacts to the enamel and bonds to it. You can leave as is or play a  bit more, with transparent enamels, watercolor enamel, graphite and enamel crayons. I also tried starting with a color instead of right (bottom left image) in order to get a more black image. The decal turns a rust color once it’s fired. I was looking for a black image and the orange background worked.

Although, curiously, the spore print image (bottom right) is black on white and I can’t recall now how I did that. Take notes!

Here are a few images from the process.

Some fired copper pieces. The decals started on a white surface. This set uses transparent enamels on top.

 

Photo decals on vitreous enamel. Necklaces by Jane Pellicciotto
These are two finished pieces. On the left is an image from the town of Orvieto in Italy. The grid of boxes are holes that pigeons roosted in. On the right is a photo of a mushroom spore print I did some years ago.

I’m also very excited to be taking an enameling workshop with the very talented Canadian artist Jan Smith up in Seattle this summer. The journey continues!

Staying Sane through Art

It was a good thing that a printmaking class started the day after election day. What would I have done with myself otherwise? Nothing good. Despite feeling a little hungover, a lot depressed and not terribly creative, I couldn’t have imagined a better place to be on that day with those people. A group of nine women in a fog similar to my own. We talked very little. We gave each other knowing glances. We understood we were all in a state of confusion and words were unnecessary.

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Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

Twyla Tharp

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The Pleasure of Process

I admit to having a certain proclivity towards process in and of itself even though I also fret over unfinished business, the half-written story or one without a good ending, the half-finished painting. Yes, it’s good to finish what you start, but if finishing is always your goal, you’re missing out on the delights of the process. If you linger too much in process, there’s that uncomfortable nagging inside about what’s left undone.

Sometimes process and output are inextricably linked. A project can have its own unique forward momentum. At other times, the doing IS the thing. Read more