I ordered twelve new enamel colours today. I can hardly wait until they arrive. I guess it’s the same feeling passionate knitters or crocheters must have after they’ve just ordered some beautiful new yarn.
Anyone who reads this blog will know that I have a love affair with silver. Add enamel to silver, though, and my excitement levels go through the roof. The liquid glass-like colour with silver beneath it is utterly beautiful and it’s been nearly four years since I wanted to make my own enamelled pieces.
I went to learn how with Lynne in 2010, borrowed Juliet’s kiln, and was on the point of buying my own last summer, when suddenly my car needed mending. The kiln plan was shelved for a while, but yesterday my very own tiny, shiny kiln arrived. The picture above is what 800 degrees looks like. Fiery.
My kiln’s arrival is timely: I heard this week that I’ve been accepted to have a stall at the Selvedge Spring Fair and I needed some fresh designs for the new year. Frankly the ideas have been tumbling over one another, spinning about in my head and keeping me awake some nights. The common thread for all of these part-formed ideas, though, is enamel.
The shards of Victorian pottery I keep finding in the garden (picture above taken last summer) have been inspiring me, as has Alice’s recommended reading, vintage lace and feedsack florals, Moorcroft, William de Morgan, Archibald Knox and CFA Voysey.
This is the first piece I made today with my brand new kiln, once I had managed to channel the jumbled ideas from my head into my hands for an hour or two. It’s a tiny sample, far from perfect and there’s still lots of sketching to do and designs to refine but it feels wonderful to make something and not have to dash across the fens to return the kiln afterwards.
I made a tiny silver garden trowel today too.