April 16th - 20th, 2019 (Arrive April 15th & Depart April 21st)

The Glass Menagerie: A Cloisonné Enamel Workshop

This workshop will be focused on creating cloisonné enamel jewels.  Students are encouraged to create their own designs, but I will also have ready-made designs that they can choose from as well.  We will focus on learning how to do precise cloisonné wirework as well as delicate shading and texturing methods to achieve a realistic and accurate depiction.

At the end of the week, students will have created a pencil or watercolor image plus the finished cloisonné enamel jewel, along with several smaller drawings and enamel samples.

Day 1 Creating the Designs
Drawing basics.  I will show how to sketch cloisonné design first sketching with a pencil, then inked lines, and finally colored in with watercolors or colored pencils.

Choosing enamel colors and preparing the enamels by washing them.

Day 2 Preparing the Fine Silver Bases
How to cut and shape the silver base- either doming it gently with a mallet or using a silhouette dye and hydraulic press to achieve a deeper and more uniform shape.  Also, how to transfer the design to the base and texturing options using scribes and punches.

Create custom cloisonné wire using the rolling mill and techniques for perfectly shaping the wires to match the design.

Day 3 Enameling
How to counter enamel and fire the wires in place. 
Application of colored enamels and how to layer and blend the enamel colors to match the original design as closely as possible.

Day 4 Enameling
AM Demo: Troubleshooting enamels.  How to deal with wires that have tipped over, preventing and fixing air bubbles, and achieving the perfect transparent clarity by avoiding some common application errors.

How to grind and polish the enamels plus optional finishing techniques will be covered.

Day 5 Finishing & Polishing
Students will focus on finishing their projects.  Each student will have completed 2-3 pieces of cloisonné.  

Sandra McEwen