$420 + $TBC for materials
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Natalie will guide you through the fabulous process of fusing vitreous glass enamels onto copper and silver using a basic jewellers torch.
This class is suitable for beginners and those with more experience working with enamels. Your tutor will assist you to choose projects that will be achievable for your experience level over the time frame of the class.
Jewellery enamels are in fact special glass grains, which can be fused to the surface of your metal to create amazingly colourful, glowing jewels. Your designs can be taken from nature - Wanaka’s amazing autumn displays of colourful leaves are a fantastic inspiration. Abstract and geometric patterns are another wonderful way to use enamels, and students will get to experiment with some sample pieces before deciding on one or more designs to work on over the course.
Because the enamel is glass, the pieces are fragile and precious, perfect for earrings and pendants, and can also be bezel-set as you would a gemstone. Rivets can also be used to attach enamels and simple tab-style settings which are achievable for intermediate level students.
You can use opaque (very bright solid colours) or transparent enamels. Transparent colours may be fired on a layer of fine silver foil over copper to get a magical result without the cost of using large amounts of precious metals. Explore simple stencil ideas with dry-application, or try sgraffito, cloisonne and more delicate wet-packing techniques as you develop your skills and ideas.
All basic materials will be supplied with additional materials able to be purchased should students require extras such as chains or different type of earrings connections.
Natalie will set simple projects for beginner students - those with no jewellery experience can use pre-cut shapes and focus on producing simple pieces with lovely colours.
More experienced students may wish to create their own shapes to enamel, and those with soldering experience may be able to create a simple bezel setting for their enamelled item, or craft a chain to hang their enamelled pendant from.
As always, with jewellery making, the balance of complexity and scale are important.
A simple enamel design will allow you to have more time to complete the metal work needed to create a more fully developed piece (a bezel set ring, or a pendant on a hand made chain). A more complex enamelled design using cloisonne or multiple colours and layers will require much more time, so may need to use simple connections - a large jump ring to support your pendant, or simple hooks to hang your earrings.
Natalie Halley has been teaching jewellery making with Workspace Studios and The Learning Connexion in Wellington for many years. Her own jewellery making is playful, often incorporating movement and colour in her pieces. Natalie loves to work with enamels and her enamelling students achieve great results under her tutelage.