Classes taught at The Crucible
Enameling is the colorful result of fusing powdered glasses to metal, using high heat to form a durable vitreous coating. The first enamels date to the 6th Century BC, in ancient Cyprus. At The Crucible, we teach both traditional and experimental application techniques, onto various metals. Students make objects ranging from fine cloisonné jewelry to large-scale steel sculptures and wall pieces.
20 Shades of Grey: Medieval Enameling Techniques
Often associated with medieval French enameling, grisaille (grey) is the application of white enamel to a black enamel background, creating halftones and shading. Light areas of the design will have more white enamel layers than gray areas, creating an impression of low relief. Students work with silver foil and touches of gold to enhance the pieces. We will also explore sgraffito-style grisaille and other experimental approaches. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
3-Hour Taster: Enameling
3-Hour Tasters are a great way to explore a new art form without the deeper commitment of a full course. After a basic introduction to enamel sifting and kiln-firing, make a stenciled enamel pendant or keychain to take home. Take a Taster and meet new friends or give the gift of creativity to someone special.
A Primer in 3-D Enameling
Explore the art of 3-D metal forms in this introductory one-day workshop. We will work with soft copper sheet, mesh, and copper wire. Students learn to plan for adding enamel to form and how to fire forms. Spray equipment, industrial enameling materials, and traditional jewelry enamels are used. No previous enameling or metalworking knowledge needed.
Hone your artistic skills with renowned enamel artist Roberta Smith and the intricate, scientific process of cloisonné enameling. Use the rich, subtle, and distinctive colors of transparent and opalescent enamels on fine silver to create small pieces of jewelry or artwork. Students learn painterly shading techniques and high-gloss polishing. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
Enameled Stainless Steel Bowl
In this 3-hour course, students will learn how to prepare a stainless steel bowl for enameling and airbrush it with liquid white enamel. Using sgraffito, a decorative scratching technique that reveals a lower layer of a contrasting color, students will make their own design in the white enamel, then fire the bowl, leaving with their own unique enameled steel vessel!
Discover the ancient art of fusing glass to metal. You will learn techniques in metal preparation and fabrication for enameling, kiln properties and firing methods, properties of enamel, and dry and wet applications. No previous experience in jewelry making, enameling, or metalworking needed.
Work with master enamel artist Judy Stone to further develop the skills learned in Enameling I, including torch firing, basic enamel painting, and working with precious metals and 3-D forms. In addition to a lot of experimenting, students will produce at least three finished pieces. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
Lab sessions are a great benefit, exclusively for Crucible members! Practice the skills you learn in class and explore new possibilities with your craft. No instruction is provided during lab sessions, but a lab monitor will be present to answer questions, manage safety, and provide overall support. You are free to come and go at your convenience during open lab hours, however you must provide your own materials. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
Exploring Liquid Enamels
Originally formulated to glaze steel in the 1800s, liquid enamels are referred to as ÛÏindustrialÛ or ÛÏporcelainÛ enamels because of their similarity to ceramic glazes. They can be painted, splashed, airbrushed, and combined with all sorts of other media to add spontaneity to enameling. Students will use these enamels, in conjunction with more standard forms of enameling, to create several test tiles and a small wall piece on copper. This is an entry-level class, although those with basic enameling skills are welcome.
Fred Ball Experimental Enameling Techniques
Fred Uhl Ball (1945-1985) was an enamellist who lived and taught in Sacramento. His work was viewed as highly unorthodox at the time, but created a firm basis for current contemporary enameling. Specific techniques include working with fire scale, creating collages, using liquid enamel and other materials associated with the porcelain enamel industry, over- and under-firing, and much more. Explore this inspiring approach with Judy Stone. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
Friday Flame: Enameling
End the workweek with fire, friends, and a toast. Join us for Friday Flame, a unique night focused on industrial arts and good company. Enjoy a 2-hour workshop creating a work of art to take home. Then sip wine or beer with the group and marvel at your new masterpiece!
Limoges: Painting with Enamels
Learn to “paint” enamels, metal oxides and over glazes mixed with various oils on copper, achieving the fine detail of the hand-drawn line, and simulating delicate watercolor washes. This enameling technique first appeared in medieval Limoges, France, and is practiced most prolifically today in Russia. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
Plique-a-Jour: Stained Glass Enameling
Plique-a-jour (open to light) is the most admired of the many enameling techniques with French names. Enamel is fired into a backless frame creating a luminous effect similar to looking through a stained glass window. In this class you will learn how to design, make and finish pierced plique-a-jour pieces, sawing out metal and filling the spaces with vitreous enamel. We will work with fine silver and various enamels to make pendants and earrings. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
The Magic of Decals on Enamel
Transfer images from a special paper to an enameled surface to create your own unique works of art. Each student will produce four or five pieces on both copper and enamel-coated steel. Learn to color your decals with enamel and to make your own decals in color and black and white. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
Working Large: A Journey into Industrial Enameling on Steel
Explore large-scale enameling on steel in this weeklong intensive class! Sometimes called ÛÏporcelainÛ’ enameling, the enamel industry utilizes liquid enamels to coat signage, appliances, utensils, and architectural elements for indoor and outdoor use. Students will draw, paint, airbrush, silkscreen, stencil, and fire onto pre-coated, specialized steel panels. We will take at least one field trip to a Santa Rosa factory that makes enameled signs. Along with smaller pieces, students work on a larger panel that will be fired at this factory. PREREQUISITE: Enameling I
Discover the ancient art of fusing glass to metal. You’ll learn about metal preparation and fabrication for enameling, kiln properties and methods for firing, properties of enamel, and dry and wet application techniques. No previous jewelry making, enameling, or metalworking experience necessary.