News and Articles

Letter from the Chair Autumn 2013 Julie Rattray

We are surrounded by colour.  The diversity, intensity, clarity and continually changing colours that we see in nature are a constant marvel.Colour is embedded and reflected in every aspect of our life.  From an early age we form colour associations and as we get older we use colour to express our feelings, to warn of danger and to communicate a wealth of situations and events.  In the visual arts, music and literature, colour is frequently used to express a theme, idea or emotion.

For many enamellers it is the realisation that the intensity, clarity, boldness and transparency of colour can be incorporated into the pure metallic colours of gold, silver, copper and steel that initially attracts them to the medium. For others it is the unpredictability and uniqueness of enamel colour and effect on copper.  The incorporation of enamels on metal forms is an excellent example of added value. By adding colour the metal form is enlivened and given spirit, and ultimately the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Victor Vasarely (the father of the Op Art movement) said "Every form is a base for colour and every colour is attributed to form".  Was he thinking about enamelling as he said this?

As we move into autumn the colours around us change with the decreasing light intensity and the shortening days. Many of us find that we have more time for enamelling as we move from the "outdoor" activities of the summer to the "indoor" activities of the winter. The enamel colours incorporated into our pieces at this time of year can liven up the greyest day and enamelling can stimulate us during the shorter days, a time traditionally associated with hibernation. Autumn is a time to experiment, to work on new projects (maybe for a particular award, exhibition, selection or for the conference theme), to plan for the future, and what better way to get ideas and inspiration than to visit the “Heart of the Heat” exhibition.

In November and December this joint BSOE/GOE exhibition in Birmingham will be in full swing. The exhibition will showcase current UK vitreous enamelling practice in all its forms. As well as a selection of pieces from influential enamellers, there will be installations, fine enamelling on jewellery and objets d’art, panels, 3D work, enamel on copper, steel, silver and gold. Please visit the exhibition (see full details later in the Journal) and if you can offer to help whilst there even better.  Watch the website and Facebook pages for updates and developments, or contact us for more information.

 

In August it was with great sadness that we heard the news that Rachel Gogerly had lost her fight against cancer. Rachel held a number of positions within the Guild; she was a selector, a masterclass tutor and the Guild’s Chair in its 30th year. She generously gave her time and freely shared her expertise and knowledge with Guild members, and her continued support of and services to the Guild have been pivotal in promoting the craft of enamelling and increasing the Guild’s visibility. Rachel was a true ambassador for the Guild and for enamelling. She will be sadly missed.