Enameling Oddities

  • $560.00
    Unit price per 

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Enameling Oddities
Instructor: Keith Lewis
November 12-14, three days, 10:00 – 5:00
Class Fee: $560 | Materials list, some materials included

Prerequisites: Basic Enameling experience with Kiln Firing

This workshop will feature a number of somewhat unusual enameling techniques that are straightforward and simple to use, but which significantly expand the expressive potential of enameling and which are easily adaptable to many purposes.

We will begin with a brief overview of basic conventional Limoges (painted) enamel techniques including drawing directly onto enamel, the use of watercolor enamels, the preparation of enamel paints from raw oxides, and the use of lusters, etc. After that we will explore the following:

1. The firing of graphite drawings into enamel- which offers the possibility of producing highly detailed and delicate images. Demos will include prepping the enamel for receiving the pencil marks, the use of blending, shading and graphite washes, the building-up of layers and over-glazing and the combination with Limoges techniques- especially watercolor washes. While it is possible to fire the drawings in a kiln, I will focus on a straightforward method of torch-firing that maximizes the clarity of the images.

2. The second technique (pioneered by jeweler Joan Parcher), will utilize reflective glass beads (used on airport runways) to create unexpected optical effects. Demos will include the use of various sized beads, compatible enamel undercoats and the complex optical interactions that can be created.

3. The third technique- virtually unknown in contemporary enamel circles and only described in one 1911 book- utilizes synthetic aventurine (goldstone) to produce enamels which sparkle due to the inclusion of copper or cobalt crystals into the enamel matrix.

4. The fourth technique will be the incorporation of glow-in-the-dark materials into enamel. We will discuss which materials can withstand firing temperatures, appropriate percentages of glow materials to enamel and a number of different ways to apply the materials. Small amounts of a number of glow powders will be available for use by the students.

5. The final technique will be the application- on enamel- of extremely delicate sgrafitto drawings in gold leaf- a technique derived from late Roman glass portrait rondels and adapted for use on vitreous enamels. Demos will focus on the crucial aspects of surface preparation and precise firing conditions that are necessary to achieve the effect.


Join Central Washington University Professor Keith Lewis to explore these enameling oddities. Enameling Basics I or equivalent required.


Materials INCLUDED:

  • 20g or thinner copper sheet
  • 24K Rich Gold Leaf
  • ESP-12 Enameled Steel Plate
  • Reflective glass beads
  • A selection of enamels and enameling supplies to experiment with

Students MUST Bring:

  • Saw blades and sandpaper (available in studio store)
  • Drawing or drafting pencil (4H preferable) and good sharpener
  • A very sharp scribe or the largest sewing needle from a card-pack of needles (available in studio store)
  • Fine-pointed tweezers (available in studio store)
  • An xacto knife
  • N95 Dust Mask

Students MAY Bring:

  • 20g or 22g fine silver sheet if you wish to work with transparent enamels
  • Basic metal working hand tools
  • A few dixie cups or plastic cups to wash & hold enamel

Instructor Bio:

Keith Lewis received his BS in Chemistry from Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) in 1981 and his MFA in Jewelry & Metalsmithing from Kent State University (Kent, OH) in 1993. He has been teaching at CWU since 1994, where he is currently CWU Distinguished Professor.

His jewelry deals with issues of sexual identity, memory, loss, and the notion of jewelry as a transportable polemic. It has been widely published and shown both nationally and internationally and is represented in a number of significant public and private collections, including the Tacoma Art Museum, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, The Rotasa Fund (CA), Porter/Price Collection (NC), the collection of Susan Beech (CA), The Smithsonian Institution ,The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

In addition to his work as an artist and teacher, he has also written for a number of publications including Metalsmith, New Art Examiner and Artweek and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and of the Metalsmith magazine Editorial Advisory Board.

He is obsessed with oysters and would love to meet a wombat.


Tools are available to purchase through Danaca Design Studio with 15% student discount code. Shop tools HERE. If you don’t see what you need please email us, dana@danacadesign.com.

Review our class cancellation policy HERE.

All students must fill out and electronically submit the Danaca Design COVID-19 Studio Safety Protocol and Waiver form before attending class.