Design with Nature: …and MORE Birds

This is one of a series of postings about enameling and art metalwork. It is based primarily on my work in the 1980s. I am not a master of these arts, but I hope this fact will be an advantage in communicating the basics, in simple terms, to readers who are not already familiar with them. The series is not intended to instruct in procedures, but solely to impart an appreciation of the art forms involved. 

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Birds provide striking models for enameling, and their brilliance of color is well suited to the medium. I found that they were popular among the visitors to our gallery.

Following are a few enamel pieces that I would like to put on the record, even though there was not enough space for them in the earlier posting about birds.

The first of these are reasonably realistic:

WLesser Flamingo Africa
(A grouping of the Lesser Flamingo in Africa)

WMiscBird-11          WMisc-08a

…even including, below, the clumsy result of my very first attempt at enameling, in which the best feature is probably the ruby background. I am somewhat proud that I hammered out the setting, starting with heavy copper wire, circular in cross-section, into a channel wire that was U-shaped in cross-section.


The next three include a cartoon, titled “Partners,” and some close-up views of a peacock feather:


PPcock-06 (3)        PPcockEarr-05

Finally, the following abstract images can more or less easily be related to their origins as birds:

 ABlue Comet 2          AMiscEarr-05a

ACrosWngs-08a      AFreeform Champleve

Of the last group of four pictures, three show champlevé pieces.  The fourth (upper right) and all of the preceding pictures in this post show cloisonné pieces.  The picture of the flamingo grouping is a special variety, concave cloisonné, in which the enamel does not fill the entire cell, and its surface in cross-section is U-shaped between the wires.

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