At this point in the year I take a bit of time to learn some new techniques or practice a particular skill. I have decided to do some stone setting. I have quite a few interesting cabochons stashed away in a box and, although I used to set my enamels in bezel settings it is some years since I did this. Today I have made myself a ring using a very rounded rutilated Quartz cabochon that has been in my box of bits for many years. I oxidised it very heavily and this reflects in the inclusions and makes them appear more of a contrast with the rest of the stone even though they are actually quite pale.
At the moment I am preparing for an exhibition of work by selected members of the Guild of Enamellers. There will be jewellery, bowls and small panels in a variety of techniques and styles and all of it for sale. It is exciting to be part of this creative group and I'm sure there will be some really beautiful things to see.
Today I have delivered my work ready for the joint exhibition at The White Room, Priestley's, York and also received a piece back from the New Mokume Gane Exhibition in Tokyo. I also received a beautiful catalogue of all the pieces in that exhibition and it is full of very inspiring work. I think I need to get practicing and hope that I can produce a suitable piece again in two years time.
A few years ago I worked on a series of enamelled panels called 'Precious Land' based on the landscape around my studio. This was followed by a collection of pieces of enamelled jewellery developed with the assistance of an Arts Council grant. I have decided that it is time to return to this theme, been thinking about it for some time and am excited by the new possibilities as my work has definitely changed over the intervening period.
Here is one of the original pieces, enamel on copper and probably dating from around 2002.