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Contemporary Cloisonné

All Levels
November 2, 9 & 16, 2023 9:30 am - 11:30 am View in Your Timezone

The emphasis of this course is to explore a free-form approach to cloisonné. The use of fine wires in relation to enamel is investigated using round wire to discover dynamic and expressive methods in your work.

Initially, Ruth will give a presentation of her enamels via a slide show of images and she will talk about the methods she uses in her own work. Her approach to cloisonné as a technique is to view it as a way of embellishing a graphic element into metal and she essentially visualizes it as a drawing method.

The making sessions that follow on begin with a simple mark-making exercise on paper and follow through into the creation of a series of samples. The aim is to throw the emphasis on line and mark-making in order to open up ideas within the boundaries of cloisonné.

Experiments and practice pieces are demonstrated on copper but the ultimate intention is that designs will emerge in silver. Starting with a limited colour palette in order to emphasize the wire work, Ruth will continue to incorporate colours and more complex design ideas, showing how to repeat shapes and apply precious metal foils.

The samples will explore the visual qualities of line, thus enabling the enrichment of your design vocabulary in future work. The final demonstration will be in silver and will cover working with transparent enamel. 

As an outcome, you will be able to select from your ideas, sketches, make samples, and develop enamel experiments. Your final goal is to evaluate your samples and make a final piece of cloisonné enamel that would be ready for setting into a jewel.

Meet the Instructor

Ruth Ball

Since graduating from the BA Jewellery Design Course at Middlesex University London in 1987 Ruth has dedicated her practice to the application of color through vitreous enamels on precious metals. Her creativity spans contemporary jewelry, fine silverware, and unique artworks. Observation of color and light in everyday environments sustains her modern design style. Moreover, her…


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