RMIT Year 1, Semester 1, Enamelling #3

5 05 2010

First year, first semester, Surface Articulation – Enamelling, project #3: Cloisonné brooches

I’ve written before about the brooches I made in first year and how they were stolen from my home a few years ago … but I’ll share some more about the process I took to make them. The first step was a tester to learn more about the cloisonné technique.

tester for cloisonné

In doing the above tester, I fell in love with the simple silver flux colouring I used as the background which looked like satin over the fine silver.

For the main body of work, I began by playing around with circle geometry; and as the shapes reminded me of Asian art and I thought the pieces would make lovely hairpieces (but they ended up as brooches as that was the assignment brief).

from sketches made at the time; amended copyright notice: image not to be reproduced without permission

The technique is fiddly, with the very thin cloisonné wires sometimes having a mind of their own and are wont to move a little in the enamel sludge (wet application is necessary). The concentration needed to apply the enamel without moving the little wires, and the ‘colouring between the lines’, became almost meditative and I really enjoyed this project.

I’ve published the only photograph taken of these pieces before, but have since tried to fiddle around with the colour balance to see if I can get less pink in the image (but not too sucessfully it seems); unfortunately I cannot do anything about the focus!

enamel brooches; original image by Kirsten Haydon; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

If the experience of these being stolen taught me anything, it was to photograph all my pieces before they leave my house either for assessment or exhibition.

… previous post in this series: RMIT Year 1, Semester 1, Enamelling #1 and #2 …



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