Colour has always been the most important aspect of my jewellery and enamelling – the process of fusing coloured glass on metal, has become my chosen medium. The glass is ground to a fine powder, washing it frequently to remove any impurities, before inlaying it into recesses of silver known technically as champleve. The piece is then heated for a short time in a kiln until the glass liquefies and fuses to the metal. A centuries old craft, enamelling is a very exacting technique requiring the finest, purist materials and meticulous care to avoid any impurities which can taint the flawless gem-like beauty of the melted glass.
The inspiration for my jewellery comes from the tiny motifs and patterns found in Japanese artefacts and textiles. My ideas are first drawn on paper as pure pictorial images without necessarily considering them as jewellery designs – this enables my imagination to work freely without reference to the constraints imposed by the technical limitations of enamelling. Only when I arrive at a pleasing image do I begin to consider whether it is technically possible to transpose the idea to a jewellery context.
I now finally create the designs for my jewellery on the computer using “Illustrator” to produce my designs. The silver is photo etched leaving me a recess in which to I inlay the enamel before it is fired. I am delighted that I have been able to combine a very new design process with the ancient craft of enamelling.