Thursday, April 1, 2010

Old Time New Way

I took classes with Melissa Manley and Richard Salley on enameling with a torch. It seemed very new-wave and up to date, a brand new method of working with enamel and copper.

This is a photo of one of Richard Salley's class projects for a class he's teaching later this year. That central part is enameled copper. Lovely, isn't it? I wish I could take some more classes with him, he's a great teacher. I'll talk more about the class later on in other posts.

I got curious about the background of torch firing enamel and started doing some research; I found an amazing old article from "Popular Science" magazine, it was published in November.

Of 1960, that is.

A while back. And yet the instructions are very similar to the methods used and taught in the classes I took last week.

I find that facinating.

What's that old saying about "nothing new under the sun" - yet again we find how true that can be.

Of course, there is some new technology also. There's no need to cut down a tin can if you don't want to go that way, you can get a soldering trivet.

But I guess if you don't want the expense of a soldering trivet, there's probably a metal coffee can around somewhere, right? I might give it a try just to see what happens.

And the BenzOmatic propane torch shown in that quaint old photo - it's basically unchanged, and the torch head is the same also.

Just goes to show, how old things become new again.

I've been doing some historical research on enameling on copper. It is a very ancient technique, and it's been around long before tin cans or propane torches.

And it's still evolving now. Facinating...


Vintage Blue Studio said...

I love torch enameling. I've been messing around with it for the last two years or so at the studio. My metals teacher taught a workshop on it and all the students have become addicted. I love the candy colors you can get on copper with this method. It's also a lot more unpredictable and fun than kiln enameling.

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Hi, VB!
Yes, I loved the bright colors and also liked when the copper got firescale, it reminds me of old enameled pots that have been sitting out too long, that worn look. Very, very FUN! Thanks for sharing, can I see some, huh, can I?

Riki Schumacher said...

Hi Lynn, how fun. Your piece is wonderful. I was introduced to torch firing by Susan L. Kazmer two years ago, and loved it. Haven't done a ton, but love mixing up the colors too. Richard is wonderful, I agree. Glad you got to take a class from him and the lovely and talented Melissa. Take care, Riki

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Riki, check out the Art Bead Scene Blog on Saturday, it's my turn to post about the studio, there'll be some back story about the delay in getting into enameling, and I totally agree about Richard. Awesome!