Experimental Leaf and Foil

These are just some of the pieces I showed at the Region 3 Enamellers guild meeting, hosted by Tilly Wilkinson and held on Sunday 14th March 09 at Merchant Taylors High School, Merseyside.

The aim of the session was to explore and demonstrate the many different effects you can achieve with the various applications of precious leaf & foils.

Here tiny specks of gold foil are fused into this cloisonne piece. The foil compliments the detailed line work, and gives an added highlight.

The pieces below illustrate some experimental effects with leaf......

This section of a panel has been stencilled. The leaf was applied and rubbed back before firing. A subsequent firing of flux was masked out to form the darker more subtle circular shape and was under fired.

Here on a copper base, oxide was formed by scribing through the metal to make a drawing and soldering flux was used to mask areas before heating, in order to create different "tones" in the metal. An enamel flux was then fired over the oxidised copper ( and wasn't cleaned before applying the enamel ! which is so liberating !) Gold leaf was applied and fired just so that the leaf was fused, at this point it also starts to Craze, which I think on this test piece adds to the painterly effect. I love the fact that the cracking echos the drawing in the copper.

This looks a bit OTT ! ....here the leaf is placed over a base of enamel which has a screen printed pattern. The pattern was fired so that it was raised up on the surface. The leaf was then fired to the "crazing point" - after firing I rubbed some of the pattern back with a fine diagrit pad leaving the piece to look like an ancient lost relic....well maybe, perhaps I'm being too romantic!

Another surface play - I love this test piece at the moment - the metal was textured in a press. A white base was fired first, a couple of coats, then the leaf was fired in. Over the leaf is then a stenciled pattern in white, plus a second layer of under fired flux. The effect is subtle and the under fire adds a shimmer to the gold.
The next class in Leaf and Foil will be taught at the Guild Conference in York...I'm still playing with effects and having fun developing ideas ! will post more soon.

All Copyright - Ruth Ball 2009