Friday, February 20, 2015

We have several upcoming events that we are very excited about!

August 16-21, 2015: June will be teaching a week-long enameling class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.  Titled, "Reuse, Recycle, Enamel!" it will expand the weekend class June taught in Dec. Learn to use scrap copper to make pendants, bracelets, earrings and more. Learn a number of enameling techniques, including stenciling, sgraffito, and using liquid enamels, then learn how to finish your piece for a professional look.
If you've taken the weekend course, you'll love this continuing look at more involved techniques. If you're a beginner, this course will get you started in enameling!

October, 2015: June and Harrison will have a month-long two person show at the Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis, TN. Sculpture, wall pieces, enameled plates and bowls, and June's paintings will all be included.  More details about this later!

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'll be Teaching an Enameling Class at John C. Campbell Folk School

What to do with all your scrap copper? Make jewelry, and then enamel it! If you'd like to learn how, you can take my class Sept. 12-14 at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.  With the high price of copper, it just makes sense to use scrap! The class is titled "Reuse, Recycle...Enamel!" and is designed for beginners and intermediate enamelists. And when I say beginners, I mean it!
We will cover where to find scrap, including roofing copper, old copper tubing and other types,  how to clean and cut it to make pendants, and then we will go through the process of enameling step-by-step! All materials and tools will be provided, so all you have to do is sign up, show up, and plan to learn a lot and have tons of fun doing it!
Go to or call the school at 828-837- 2775 if you're interested!  And check out the pendants to the right that were all made from scraps!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Stenciling with Real Leaves!

June: I LOVE spring and summer, as everything is in bloom and providing ideas for lots of new projects. I've been having fun using real leaf clusters as stencils for my enameled plates and bowls. The process is simple: fire on the first coat of enamel on the front (whatever color you want to see show through as the leaves) and back. Then spray the front well with a 50/50 Klyr Fire and water mixture, place the leaves where you want them, spray the leaves with the Klyr Fire mixture, and then sift on your second color. Lift the leaves off carefully and you should have a perfect picture of the leaves in the enamel. If a few bits of enamel fall into the pattern, lift them out with a wet, not dripping, paint brush. Let dry and fire as usual. On this plate, I used Thompson 2030 clear as the first coat, then blue and green on the second. 211o Thompson wax yellow, makes a very beautiful gold undercoat also. Obviously, flat leaves work best - I've had good luck with ferns, Nandina, and Yarrow leaves. This works best when the leaves are supple and fresh - dry leaves tend to crumble!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making a Horseshoe Nail Pendant- Harrison

In 2007, we were the featured artists at the Tallahatchie Riverfest, and they asked us to demonstrate as well as display our art work. Now it can be done, but blacksmithing equipment is not the most portable for such work.
As I was pondering what would be of interest to the viewers, and do-able with some of my lighter equipment, my copy of "The Upset", the publication of the Mississippi Forge Council, arrived. The editor, Jim Pigott, had included a sketch of a "horseshoe nail" pendant that was from a California group of blacksmiths (
The sketch was an attractive piece of jewelry and there were no details on how it was fabricated.
The following is how I made it, and the tools I used. There are other ways and other tools to make the same product. This was something I could make with my smallest anvil, one hammer, small chain tongs, and some scrolling pliers, an an acetylene torch for a heat source.

This is the sequence.

Elongate the nail to a toothpick size length, and fold it back with a nick on the edge of the anvil.

Peen the fold over to a sharp point.

Grasp this point with round nose pliers. (These are some pliers that I modified to reach into forged flower blossoms to turn the edges.)

The curved heart lobes are completed around the scroll plier tips. The tip of the nail is heated and curled with a small jeweler's scroll pliers.

My finish consisted of light wire brushing and an aerosol spray sealer (Krylon satin.)
The small size made it difficult to do in one heat, but you will improve when you make one about every 10 minutes for about eight hours!