Sunday, October 31, 2010

Arrowmont- chapter 5, conclusion

Thanks to Jodi, I have burned discs of pics for my students and they are ready to send off so I don't feel guilty about finally showing their work here.  So the topic of the class was Introduction to Painting Enamel.  What is painting enamel you might ask?  Painting enamel is basically very finely ground enamel which behaves like paint in the application process but does contain glass so it glosses when fired.  There is traditional painting enamel, which consists of ceramic pigments which are mixed in fairly specific proportions with a finely ground white or clear enamel (it has the consistency of baby powder or confectioner's sugar) and then can be mixed with either oil or water as a binder.  Thompson enamel has developed a painting enamel that behaves like water colors and also a painting enamel in an acrylic binder.  I prefer the watercolor and traditional mix varieties myself. The advantage to painting enamels is that #1, you can mix colors to make new ones, which you can't do with regular 80 mesh enamel and #2, you can create tremendous detail. I had used painting enamel as an embellishment for my cloisonne images but I'm now hooked on working immediately with the painting enamel to build the entire scene.  I will talk more about the technical aspects of painting enamels in another post.

Everyone in the class had basic enameling experience or more but no one had worked with painting enamels.  Here's what we did (keep in mind this is all jewelry scale. I don't think any one of these pieces exceeds a 2 inch maximum in an direction and most are definitely smaller than that):

This was my example piece- watercolor enamel

This was the piece I worked on during class although I finished the eyes at home. I worked from a photograph-
watercolor enamel (the photo is a little washed out)

Jodi- These were done with oil based painting enamels. She discovered it requires a lot more paint to build up color on a dark ground but it can be worth it because the contrast can be quite nice.

Liza- Liza went for an abstract series or earrings using oil based painting enamels. This photo really washes them out.
They were much more vibrant in person.
Marti- a portrait of her daughter from a photo- in process. Oil based painting enamels.

Marti- oil based painting enamels (I think)

Marti- oil based painting enamels
Mark- Mark and Pat were the most accomplished painters among us and it shows! Oil based painting enamels.

Mark- I think this one might have been the water color enamels

Mark- Mark tried lavender oil instead of our mystery "painting oil" that Thompsons supplies with the kit.
He found it is much runnier so it does washes really well.
Pat- oil based painting enamels over clear rather than the traditional white ground.

Pat- oil based painting enamel over clear. Pat applied some painting Titanium White to the top of the koi and it caused this bubbling effect, which I've encountered myself with Titanium but don't know what's causing it. It worked for the piece fortunately.

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