Image and Mark Making in Enamel with Jan Smith
August 17-19 at Danaca Design
“I love the diversity and seductive qualities of the enamel and enjoy sharing an understanding of the material with students. I begin with a simple sketch, using the enamel as a printmaking or drawing medium, I work rather intuitively allowing the work to evolve. There is an element of assemblage or evolution in my process and composition, and I am excited about the imperfections in the surfaces.” -Jan Smith
With her decades of experience as a printmaker and jewelry designer, Jan Smith has a remarkable amount of expertise creating various compositions in enamel with a wide range of techniques. Her illustrative approach is translated into botanical and natural forms as well as more abstract and modern designs that rely on linear detail, diverse layers of color, and fine execution.
Over three days in August, Smith will lead students through a broad range of techniques to develop exciting surfaces. With sgraffito, students can create multiple layers of contrasting color by scratching or drawing designs in a top layer of enamel allowing the color beneath to show through after the piece has been fired. Through multiple layers of opaque or translucent glazes, different effects and levels of depth in the piece can be achieved. Underglaze pencils and watercolor techniques allow for more intensive detail and line-work, as well as intriguing color-play evoking greater subtlety and depth in the designs. Over-glazing in translucent or clear finishes can achieve unifying effects and protect the piece. Ultimately this workshop will open a whole new world of detail and depth to every students enamel work.
In Image and Mark Making in Enamel, Jan Smith takes the time to explain how each method can work with the others to build distinctive pieces. Students create prototypes of each technique, getting a feel for each method’s possibilities, and then create a series of pieces that can be incorporated into their jewelry. Armed with new knowledge, tools, and enamels, practitioners will have an entirely new narrative with which to compose pieces and images to “make their mark”.
We can’t wait!
Jan Smith teaches our Image & Mark Making in Enamel class. It’s coming up a little later this quarter, in June. I only know the very basics of enameling and looking at her work definitely makes me want to learn more!
Jan is a Canadian artist exhibiting her work in here in Seattle, as well as San Francisco, Portland, Montreal, and Europe.
I wanted to know a little more, so I sent off a few questions. Below are her responses!
What got you into teaching jewelry making/ metals?
I have a minor in art education and had done some teaching but it was really when I moved to Seattle as a “newlywed”. My husband went off to a very intense job: I knew no one in seattle and was rather lonely and by a stoke of luck I found Seattle Metals Guild. I took classes with Andy Cooperman, Maria Phillips, Marcia Bruno, huge list amazing community and talent…so long story short its my way of paying it forward to those amazing instuctors I had the very good fortunate to learn from.
What are your favourite materials to work with and why?
I love copper and enamel and most recently porcelain and wood.
Can you tell us about any memorable teachers from your past who influence what you’re doing today, as an instructor or as an artist?
Wow, that’s hard! long list…but first Maria Phillips, she took me to Penland which opened a huge door of enamel artists/instructors…there Sondra Dorn showed me Elizabeth Turrell’s work, I ended up calling her in Bristol England to ask when she was coming back to the US. Recently Helen Carnac and Lucy Sarnell..am just about to take a workshop with Peter Hoogeboom and Shu-lin Wu in Montreal, very excited about that.
Aside from the skills outlined in your class, what do you hope to bring to your students?
I love teaching and sharing of knowledge, enjoy talking about what you want and to do and how to achieve those results, I’m mad about gardening, botanical prints, cooking..love having people over for a meal.
Do you have a personal website related to your work or your teaching?
Jan’s Image & Mark Making in Enamel class runs Saturday and Sunday, June 7th and 8th.
Image & Mark Making in Enamel:
Emphasis in this workshop will be on creating exciting surfaces through exploration of nontraditional enameling processes. Line is an important element in composition and we will explore enamel techniques which allow us to achieve lines and images. Develop new compositions and designs in your work by learning to make a variety of lines in enamel. We will explore a range of techniques including mark making, drawing, sgrafitto, and removal. Methods for creating surfaces will include inlaying seed beads and enamel shards, dry screening and stencilling, sgrafitto, graphite, oxide and painting enamels.
More information: http://www.danacadesign.com/index.php?p=classes&c=descriptions#enamel_surface_exploration
If you’re interested in signing up for Jan’s class give us a call at 206-524-0916, Tue-Fri 11-6 or Sat 10-6.
All photos by Doug Yaple.