Introduction to Enamelling Techniques with Joan Mac Karell

29 Sep 2022 - 30 Sep 2022 · 9.30AM - 4.30PM
£329 (6 places)
Silversmithing Workshop
Event type
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Enamelling enables you to add vibrant colour to precious metals. Whether you are a beginner or have had some previous experience in enamelling, this short course will help you learn the ancient techniques of enamelling with a special focus on Cloisonné technique; and to improve your skills to create personal colourful designs.

This two-day course provides expert tuition from experienced enameller Joan Mac Karell and you will be encouraged to use the most suitable enamel techniques to develop your designs. You will also be shown examples of more contemporary approaches to enamel including the use of foils, wet process enamels, etching, riso screens and ceramic transfers. Your tutor will demonstrate use of hand gravers to add texture to your metal which will show through the transparent glass.

“The Introduction to Enamelling course was terrific. I was an absolute beginner and even though others in the group had done enamelling before, Joan MacKarell catered really well for everyone’s ability. Joan's wealth of knowledge and incredible talent is humbling and has inspired me to start practising more with enamel - watch this space!”

– Course participant

What will I learn?

  • General workshop safety rules.
  • Designing and making your silver piece to include the correct thickness of metal, the appropriate shape, the right solder to use, and the method of applying texture to the metal if required.
  • Cleaning the metal before the enamel process.
  • Preparation of the enamel and application to the metal piece
  • Use of the kiln and the firing process.
  • Finishing methods to the enamel and to the silver
  • Problem solving

Our small class size offers you the chance to get group tuition as well as individual guidance on a 1:1 basis with your tutor, allowing you to receive tailored advice to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the enamelling process.

What equipment do I need to bring with me?

  • Protective clothing or clothing you don’t mind getting dirty e.g. apron, and closed toe shoes.
  • Resource material for your personal design ideas.
  • Toolbox if you have one including saw frame and 3/0 saw blade, a set of needle files, small flat and round pliers, fine pointed tweezers, a small paintbrush size (0) or (1) and some fine scissors.
  • (Optional) Any previous enamel work that you wish to discuss
  • (Optional) Coloured pencils, drawing materials, sketch book

You will be provided with:

  • Pieces of copper and a piece of sterling silver sheet
  • Enamels and all related materials and equipment
  • (Optional) Silver stampings for sale during the course

Who is this course designed for?

  • Beginners: No practical experience or understanding of the listed skill required.
  • Intermediate: Some practical experience and understanding of the listed skill required.

Participants should be comfortable in a workshop environment and able to work independently on basic tasks.

Can I receive financial support to access this course?

We believe that talent should not be held back. Here at the Goldsmiths’ Centre, we are open, accessible and inclusive to all. Our Access Grants help anyone to build thriving creative careers, supporting jewellers, silversmiths and allied industry practitioners to access our training courses for free.

If you need help to cover fees for our business and technical skills short courses, please apply for one of our Access Grants. To find out more and read our application criteria, click here:

The Access Grants are delivered by the Goldsmiths' Centre and funded by the Goldsmiths’ Company Charity.

Who is the tutor?

Joan Mac Karell completed her first degree in textiles before retraining at Sir John Cass metalwork department in jewellery and enamel and where she taught as a part-time senior lecturer for many years. She is a founder member of British Society of Enamellers and was a Director of Studio Fusion Gallery for over 22 years. She has work published in numerous books on enamel and jewellery, both in the US and the UK.