Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Showcasing a New Collection of Enamel Jewellery


Place: Contemporary Applied Arts, 2 Percy Street, London, W1T 1DD
Curated By: Jessica Turrell
Date: 18 June - 17 July 2010
Catalogue ISBN:
URL Links: www.caa.org.uk/exhibitions/archive/2010/remarkable-glass.html

The intimate scale of jewellery is a central factor in my practice. I strive to create work that has a tactile delicacy and that rewards the wearers close attention with an intricate and detailed surface. Over recent years I have developed an experimental approach to enamel by which I seek to create work that moves away from traditional jewellery enamel practice in order to achieve a more ambiguous and expressive surface quality. 

In 2007 I was awarded a three year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship in Creative and Performing Arts based at the University of the West of England, Bristol. The focus of the fellowship, entitled Innovation in Vitreous Enamel Surfaces for Jewellery, is based on my experience of enamel as an innovative, expressive and contemporary material. The project uses both practice-led and theoretical research methodology to investigate the potential of new and experimental techniques and processes in relation to the constraints and requirements of the use of enamel in the production of contemporary jewellery.

This showcase exhibition features two bodies of work made during the fellowship. In the first I have used etching techniques to create delicate layers of barely legible handwritten text and repeated marks that reference handwriting practice. These etched pieces are often made up of multiple layers with overlays of monochrome mark or text uppermost allowing for glimpses of underlying enamel in bright jewel-like colours. By being partially concealed and protected the underlying colour is imbued with a preciousness and intimacy that it might not have if more boldly displayed.

The second group features vessel forms that are the result of an investigation into the use of electroforming as a method for the creation of seam-free three-dimensional forms that can be enamelled in the round. These pieces used layered enamelled that is built up and then selectively removed to re-expose underlying marks and concealed colour. 


Text by Jessica Turrell