PEOPLE | CULTURE | HAPPENINGS
The art of enameled jewelry
Painting with Glass
by JOHANNA FEREBEE
photography by ALLISON POTTER
ULLING MOLTEN GLASS out of a kiln can
be a visceral, potentially dangerous
experience, reserved for the brave
and bold of heart. But for metal-smiths
and jewelers working
in enameled surfaces, the reward outweighs
Vitreous enamel is created by
fusing fine powdered glass
and certain metal surfaces.
Through the medium of
water, it can be painted onto
copper, silver, gold and other
The fine glass particles melt
and merge with the metal-lic
surface in a kiln heated to
approximately 1,500 degrees.
Once cooled, the result is a
smooth, glossy or matte, hardened,
and often colorfully enameled piece.
There are many methods of apply-ing
enamel. It likes to be curved and
is often applied to slightly domed sur-faces
to increase the strength of the
bond. Artisans experimented with this
decorative technique as early as the
13th century B.C.
Right: Enameled rainbow chakra necklace by Sara Westermark.
Right and opposite: An assortment of Westermark’s enamel color
samples. Opposite: Samantha Evans brushes liquid enamel onto a copper
cuff in her home studio. Melissa Manley’s opaque color samples hang on the
wall in her classroom at Cape Fear Community College.
PHOTO OF NECKLACE BY SARA WESTERMARK