adventures in enamelling, stories, music and travel
As a working craftsperson – not every day is spend designing and making barnd new things! The times when I have that luxury are actually few and far between. Most days at my enamelling bench I am trying to produce enough stock to sell at a show, and produce it in such a manner that I can charge as little as possible for it. That’s hard with enamel, as it is by it’s very nature a slow and meticulous process.
But there are small production runs that I do; rarely more than 10 pieces at a time – and that takes a week!
I started doing production runs of my champleve years ago – it just made sense. All of the pieces have five separate stages that they need to go through – and it would be silly not to do them together – exspecailly the etching. It is hardly worth setting up an etch vat unless I am going to do more than one piece!
It also makes sense to get into a groove of doing a certain job: polishing for example. I usually save up at least two batches (20 pieces or more) before I do a polishing. After the first couple of pieces I am getting the feel, and all the other pieces flow much easier. And faster!
With the painted pieces I prepare up to 20 pieces with the black undercoat (2 firings on each side of the shape) but then I only paint as many pieces as I can finish in a day: three with grisaille and five or six of the Greek series.
I don’t mind doing the production work. Many people think of it as boring – but for me there is as much satisfaction in producing the simple pieces as the complex ones. I get in my Zen mode and just let the work carry me along!