Sales and commissions
Items listed on this website will be available for sale soon. Any item can be commissioned and a similar version made. However due to the nature of manufacture and the uniqueness of each piece there will be differences.
The vitreous enamelled panels are mounted on 18mm thick MDF and usually painted matt white unless stated. Limited alternative colours can be requested on my recommendation. For enquiries about sales and commissions do contact me and I shall reply within 48 hours.
My early experiences
My parents encouraged my curiosity, my creativity, and my interest in the natural world, particularly my father, who enjoyed showing me how to make and repair things. I remember spending many hours as a teenager in his work space, where he introduced me to lost wax casting and enamelling, and it was at his suggestion that I went to art school to study jewellery and silversmithing.
Education and experience
I completed a Foundation Art course at St Albans School of Art which gave me a grounding in different aspects of creative arts. This included ceramics, where I indulged my interest in Egyptian bead making and then using my own faience and using slips to create textures and coloured layers of clay. I then spent three years at Loughborough School of Art studying Jewellery and Silversmithing. In jewellery I focused on learning the techniques of chasing and repousee, the forming of metal sheet by working on both the front and back with tiny tools, stretching and planishing undulations and patterns into silver sheet. I also explored the integration of enamels into my chased jewellery as a means of bringing colour to the silver pieces. As a medium, enamel seemed to be much more fluid than stones or gems.
After completing a post-graduate teaching diploma I held a number of teaching posts in further and higher education colleges, concurrently maintaining a small workshop. Here I produced work for a gallery in London and undertook some shared exhibitions. At the time my work consisted mainly of drawings, photography and the use of wood with resin to make small artefacts and jewellery.
Life’s side roads
As is often the case, starting a family brings a need for significant adaptations to a career in the creative arts. Child rearing became my chosen focus, and even though my workshop was always available, I put creative arts onto the back burner. My energies diverted into child focused interests such as setting up a pre-school group, which eventually took me down the road of psychotherapy training.
With children having moved into adulthood I was ready for my own transition. We moved into a rural environment where I have a workshop and enamelling studio, and the time to pursue these interests again. With the countryside on my doorstep I could now go out with my camera and collect ideas. I am drawn towards enamelling because of my fascination with colour and with the serendipitous and unpredictable nature of enamelling. In 2014 I began exhibiting with the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate. This has developed links with galleries and other makers over the last 4 years.
In 2018 we made a final move from Rutland to Shropshire, near Much Wenlock. Here we have an abundant space for workshop facilities as well as being closer to my enamelling group within The Guild of Enamellers. www.guildofenamellers.org
Although my background has given me a grounding in traditional skills of jewellery and silversmithing, for me the creative process is akin to a meditation, commencing with play and experimentation with silver, copper and viscous enamel. I experiment by “breaking the rules” – for instance applying higher temperatures than recommended – observing the magic unfold as the oxides produce unexpected and unpredictable colours and textures. I record everything I do with the hope of replicating what started off as happy accidents. I attempt to let go of pre conceptions about how the work will turn out, concentrating only on what is happening in front of me, allowing the chemistry to run it’s own course. Naturally self-critical, I try to suspend self-judgements such as: “I like this” or “I don’t like that”, as others often find meaning in something that I am less than happy with. My goal is to invite the viewer to find their own beauty or connection in the work, and then hear about their encounter with it. This enriches my own experience which I can transmit to the next object I make.
This comprises wall panels and jewellery.
Wall panels are enamelled copper sheet mounted on matt painted MDF 18mm thickness. The mounts presently come in three sizes, 18x18cm, 20x20cm and 29x39cm.
Jewellery is available in combinations of enamelled copper, silver and silver with glass. I form shapes in the copper or silver using techniques including forging, folding, reticulation, chasing and repousee. The range covers pendants and earrings.
Enamelled jewellery. This is made from hand forged copper using dapping and folding techniques with textured surfaces applied using a rolling mill. The folding and texturing of the copper accentuates the unpredictable and serendipitous effects of oxides and colour effects which occur during the firing.
Silver jewellery in standard or fine silver. I use a technique known as reticulation to create surface textures, sometimes developing these further using the rolling mill after the reticulation process. The final pieces will be polished and sometimes patinated to heighten the contrast between the polished top surface and the textured background.
Silver with glass. I am working on a range of glass and silver jewellery. Using chasing and repousee I form silver mounts to retain the glass, the mounts mirroring patterns in the glass. The glass pieces are hand finished shards from a glass blower’s studio.
To increase my knowledge and skills of working with viscous enamel on copper using high-firing techniques with the addition of glass canes. Having married into a family of well known glass artists I am introducing glass threads (canes or stringers) into my pictures to create surface texture for example.
I intend to create larger wall panels and to introduce a sense of three dimensions (rilievo) into the surface by cutting into and forming the sheet copper. I am developing my use of hand cut stencils to create patterns and shapes in the enamel using sifting techniques. Even though i have said that I like the unpredictable, I am keeping records of the test pieces I do so that I can really learn what each enamel might do in relation to the copper and the heat I fire at. There is a fascinating balance of control, freedom and surprise in using enamels and glass combined with copper and fire.