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

Enamel Research

As a result of Faculty restructuring at UWE, the Enamel Research Centre has, regrettably, now closed. Students at Bower Ashton still have access to a full range of enamelling facilities in the Fabrication Centre. Fabrication Centre - staff contacts.

The primary aim of the enamel research initiative was to establish UWE as a centre for excellence in enamel research and professional practice funded by an AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts (2000-2002) for a practice-led research programme into printmaking and enamelling awarded to Elizabeth Turrell. The project culminated in a body of enamel work for exhibition and publication that evolved from an investigation into the nature of print and enamel: its properties, uses, history, methods of manufacture and, most important of all, its potential as a medium for creative practice by visual artists. Further AHRC funding in 2003 enabled Elizabeth to establish a digital archive of international contemporary work in vitreous enamel. Having digitised 1000 images, provided by a wide range of international artists in vitreous enamel, the research team established and tested the necessary descriptive terms to create the 'thesaurus' required to catalogue and construct the International Contemporary Vitreous Enamel Archive (ICVEA).

Jessica Turrell was awarded an AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts for Innovation in Vitreous Enamel Surfaces in Jewellery (2007-10), by taking both a practice-led and theoretical approach the aim of the project was to identify factors that might hinder innovation and present a series of alternative approaches that encourage a more experimental and open-minded approach to enamel.
Read the AHRC funded report - Innovation in Vitreous Enamel Surfaces in Jewellery.

The opportunity to create a series of enamel panels for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, and subsequent commissions led to the development of a wide range of expertise in the production of enamelled panels for public art. Other commissions included two commemorative pieces for the new building of the National Library for Women – The Fawcett Library , London Metropolitan University; three large enamel panels for the central desk at the New Library at Emerson’s Green for South Gloucestershire Council, and Linear Orchard Enamel Waymarkers by Elizabeth Turrell and Imi Maufe for SUSTRANS as part of their national Art and the Travelling Landscape Route 24. The Enamel Centre also had an excellent reputation of working with visiting artists including ceramist Richard Slee, Fashion Illustrator Julie Verhoeven, and installation artists Antony Lyons, Dail Behennah and Carole Waller. Click on each artists name to find out more about their work.

Working in collaboration with John Purcell Paper researchers patented a water based ceramic transfer printing system which substantially reduces solvent use. The U - Wet Transfer paper together with a T.W. Graphics water based screen printing ceramic transfer medium is used in this process. U-Wet is exclusively available from John Purcell Paper, and designed for use with waterbased screenprinting inks.