Pat Johnson Enamels

The Panels for the Garden Show   Artists Statement *

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and accompanying text.

What is Enamel?

Enamel is a type of glass.
Enamels are coloured glasses, both transparent or opaque.
Enamelling is the procedure of melting this coloured glass
on to a metal surface. The melting takes place in a kiln,
each firing lasting only a few minutes.

The technique of enamelling was invented over 5000 years ago...

Still Life Over the centuries, objects which have been enamelled included jewelry, boxes,dishes, kitchen equipment, bathtubs, and pictures.

Enamel is a medium of boundaries.

Technically it stands at the boundary between painting and drawing.Cruise

In fact making an enamel picture is like drawing and painting at the same time. Particles of coloured glass are sprayed or sprinkled on to large areas of a metal surface, either copper, silver, gold or steel, and the desired shapes are produced in these areas by carving or brushing away unwanted particles. Thus an enameller is producing simultaneously both area and edge.

Enamel also stands at the boundary between art and craft.

Abstract Because an enamel picture has to be fired whenever one form is to be placed on top of another, an enameller does not have the facility of responding quickly and instinctively to the developing needs of the work.
Snail Shell
A fast response time seems to be the central feature at the heart of those media referred to as fine art, which places enamelling outside this group.

On the other hand, enamel is free of many of the restrictions inherent in craft media.Leaves in the Wind The firings take place in minutes and the colours, textures, and forms that enamel can produce are virtually unrestricted.

The subjects of my own work are varied, but when I start a picture I am motivated chiefly to answer some question about enamel colours and colour in relationship to form and layering.
Enamelling techniques can produce such a wide variety of textures and effects that an artist working in enamel can, for example, make one shade of blue say a thousand things. Primodial Soup

omposition is the key to the success of any art work, and since any form, no matter how complicated, large, or small, can be produced in enamel, there is no barrier to an enameller producing work of the highest quality.

Pat Johnson teaches short courses in
enamelling at West Dean College.

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