Chairman's Column

Letter from the Chair Winter 2009 Lynne Glazzard

 

This year has flown by and been a very exciting one for me. Since my last letter I have enjoyed a visit to Bath with a group of members, organised by Emily Kelly. We went first to see some enamels from the Holbourne collection currently in storage while the museum is being refurbished. They were laid out on tables for us to examine and gloves provided so that we could handle them if we wished. We were privileged to have the company and expertise of Erika Speel and it was pure pleasure to see Erika in action with her magnifying glass pointing out aspects that assist in the identification and dating of historic enamels. We then went briefly to the art gallery before having tea with the Mayor and his staff and viewing enamelled pieces of the Civic regalia.
 
I followed this by a visit to Region 4 for the workshop run by Jane Moore on using enamel transfers. It was great to meet everyone and Jane put a huge amount of preparation and energy into this very enjoyable workshop.
 
At the beginning of October I went over to the Art Clay Conference on Jersey where Joy Funnell and I each ran workshops. Congratulations to Joy who ran a very successful class entitled Enamelled Accents. Her Venetian inspired enamelled mask was used on all the conference publicity material, she won two awards in the themed exhibition as well as winning the prize draw which was her deposit for a trip to visit Japan next spring.
 
From a personal point of view I am still enjoying my year as artist in residence at Whitby Museum and now have a dual role as I have recently been appointed Deputy Keeper to the museum. I am in the midst of planning and research for a jewellery exhibition at the museum due to open in March next year.
 
The plans for the 2010 conference are finalised (subject to any last minute alterations). The conference will be held at Nottingham University. It is a large out of town campus with good access from the Ml and good transport links. We will be using two buildings on the campus and there is a walk of approximately 10 minutes between the two buildings, but car parking close to each building. Most of the activities will take place in Hugh Stewart Hall. The rooms are all either ground or first floor but there is no lift access. The Dining Hall is one of the rooms on the first floor. I will have some photographs of the venue added to the Guild website but if you have any concerns about accessibility please telephone me or Liz Gilliland to discuss it before booking.
 
I have really enjoyed putting the programme together and it has made me think again about some of the techniques I loved when I first started enamelling. I hope there will be something for everyone - my only problem being that I actually want to do them all! The line up is Dorothy Cockrell, Jill Leventon, Lesley Miller, Janet Notman, Jane Short and Mr Toshihide Ueeda. Ellen Goldman has kindly agreed to devise some fun for the ‘Art Attack’ when we arrive on the Friday evening. Glyn Mitchell is going to give us a short presentation about the beginning of the new region on the Channel Islands and on Saturday evening our speaker will be Dale Devereux Barker. The Masterclass on the Sunday will be by Mr Toshihide Ueeda and having met him and attended one of his master classes a couple of years ago am sure it will be exciting and entertaining to watch.
 
I am very grateful to the Aida Corporation who manufacture Art Clay products and are bringing Mr Ueeda over to our conference. He is a Standing Director of Japan Enamelling Artist Association and a technical supervisor of Aida Chemical Industries Co. Ltd.
 
My thanks go to all of the tutors and speakers who have kindly agreed to give up their time for us. I hope that you get your booking in quickly and look forward to seeing you at Nottingham in April.
 
 
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Letter from the Chair Autumn 2009 Lynne Glazzard

               

 
Where did the summer go? I am writing this in August with the rain lashing down on the windows. I have had a busy summer. I ran an introductory workshop at 20-21 Visual Arts in Scunthorpe during the final weekend of the ‘Playing with Fire’ exhibition where the participants were able to draw on all kind of inspiring pieces for their initial experiments with enamel (some photographs of the results are on http://lynne-glazzard.blogspot.com). I took part in North Yorkshire Open Studios during June and was helped by fellow guild member Margaret Hopley who demonstrated enamelling to visitors by making small butterflies in copper shim and they now adorn the edges of my memo board. We had plenty of visitors and it is always encouraging that people will make such an effort to find the studio as I am a bit off the beaten track.
 
Margaret and I also demonstrated enamelling at The Tockwith & District Agricultural Show. We had a stand in the ‘Working Crafts’ marquee and had an enjoyable day attempting to publicise the guild; demonstrate enamelling and explain some of the processes involved. This was a busy show although the pouring rain all day made packing up and getting off the showground a little less than pleasant. Both this show and the chance to run the workshop at 20-21 Visual Arts had come through the organisers contacting Erica Speel, our Guild Publicity Officer, who had emailed members in the area to see whether anyone would be interested in participating. I think this highlights the importance of letting Erica know the kinds of opportunities you may be interested in.
 
In May I joined Dorothy Cockrell in Edinburgh for a workshop organised by Emma Baird for the Art Clay Guild. We had a lively and interesting weekend introducing enamels to participants who were used to art clay and art clay to enamellers. I always enjoy this kind of event as the exchange of ideas is so stimulating. I was lucky enough to stay an extra day and have a go at torch firing enamelled beads with Janet Notman. She will be one of the exciting line up of tutors at next years conference, the planning of which is already well underway.
 
The early summer has also seen the launch of the Guild’s new website. I know that this has taken a huge amount of work over quite a long period of time with input from a number of people but I would like to say particular thanks to Tom Lundsten and Julia Riddington. It is beautifully clear and easy to navigate and has a wealth of information. It is also possible for members to submit articles for publication on the website. These will be vetted before publication but I hope some of you will find time to submit an article or share tips, techniques and information here.   This also reminds me just how much valuable work is done by our volunteers within the guild, so thank you all!
 
There have been moments of sadness with news of the deaths of both Geoffrey Winter and Judith Harris. They were both on the committee when I joined the guild and I remember their enthusiasm and their encouragement as I began my adventure with enamel. I only hope I can encourage or even inspire a few more people to join in and enjoy the process of learning to enamel.

Letter from the Chair Summer 2009 Lynne Glazzard

 

                  
I am honoured and excited to take on the role of Chairman for the forthcoming year. For those of you who don’t know me I joined the Guild when I began enamelling in the summer of 1998, having bought my kiln and starter kit by mail order. At my first conference at York in 1999 I was rash enough to enter for selection, gained Associate level and won the Hans Theilade award. More importantly the first people I met were Dorothy, Veronica Matthew, Margaret Taylor and May Yarker who welcomed, encouraged and took great care of me. I volunteered to become librarian which not only gave me instant access to the wealth of inspiring information the library holds but also brought me into contact via the telephone with a wider network of members as they phoned to request books and catalogues. I could not have guessed at the impact these early steps would have on my life, leading eventually to a complete change in career. I am currently artist in residence at Whitby Museum and every day throws up interesting and exciting challenges.
 
Our AGM and conference this year took place at the Thorpe Underwood Estate near York and marked the Guild’s 30th year. I hope everyone who attended enjoyed the event and must thank the team for all their hard work in organising it, with particular thanks to Liz and Rachel. We had a fantastic group of tutors and speakers and I enjoyed seeing the inspiring work produced by members both at the workshops and for the exhibitions. I was particularly impressed by the work of Michael Cartwright aged 12, I think probably our youngest exhibitor at a Guild conference. He is a student of Tilly Wilkinson who has been enthusiastically nurturing some potential younger members and was one of three members gaining Craftsman status at selection this year. The other two were Joy Funnell and Gillie Hoyte Byrom. Congratulations to you all and thank you to all who entered for selection. It takes a great deal of hard work and commitment but selection is an important part of the role of the Guild in raising the standard of enamelling. I hope I can encourage you all to have a go, even if only for the challenge of producing your best work yet. Gillie Hoyte Byrom has also worked hard developing the bursary scheme and I must welcome our first official joint sponsors of the bursary, Craft & Design Magazine and W G Ball Ltd. 
 
The Guild continues to go from strength to strength thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of its members, particularly within the regions. I am pleased to welcome Glyn Mitchell as the first regional representative for Jersey and the Channel Islands. Joy Funnell and I will be joining Glyn for the Art Clay Guild conference later this year, where Joy and I will both be tutors. It will be a great opportunity to promote the Guild’s activities and hopefully meet some of our newest region’s members. By the time this goes to print I will have had a weekend in Edinburgh where Dorothy and I have been invited to run an enamelling workshop for the Scottish region of the Art Clay Guild. It is interesting how beneficial links and overlaps with related organisations can be. It is through the Art Clay Guild that I met Mr Toshihide Ueeda, a Director of the Japan Enamelling Artist Association, who I have invited to be one of the tutors at next year’s conference. I am hoping that he will also be able to bring a selection of their members work to exhibit during the conference. He will be just one of an exciting line up for the conference that will take place at Nottingham University.
 
Looking ahead, I hope to visit some of the regions in what is becoming a bit of a tradition for the Chair. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the coming year. I think one of the great strengths of our Guild is the wide variety of people who form its membership; the fact that it is all inclusive and that everyone is so generous in sharing their skills, ideas and time in promoting our craft. You can be sure I will be enjoying myself this year and persuading as many people as I can to have a go at enamelling, I know how addictive it is. If any of you venture up to North Yorkshire then don’t forget to get in touch and I will be happy to show you whatever odd things I am working on or even give you a tour of Whitby Museum. Anyway, until next time, I hope you all have a happy and productive summer. Long may our Guild flourish and continue to encourage us all.
 
 
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Letter from the Chair Spring 2009 Rachel Gogerly

 

I am delighted to open this edition of our Journal with plenty of good news and excitement about the Guild’s activities and forthcoming events in this, our Pearl Anniversary Year! It is hard to believe that thirty years ago a small group of enamel enthusiasts in North Wales were discussing the possibilities of starting a local group, unaware at that stage of what would develop and that from their humble beginnings, the Guild as we know it today would emerge.
 
The flagship of all our events, Conference, is proving as popular as ever this year with all the workshops fully booked within a month of application forms being released, even with the addition of an extra tutorial. Members who would still like to attend the weekend in York without doing a workshop can participate in the AGM, Exhibitions Celebratory Dinner and Master Class and are very welcome. Please contact our Conference Secretary, Liz Gilliland for details.
 
Just before Christmas, I had lunch at the Goldsmiths’ Hall in London with the Chairmen of The Institute of Vitreous Enamellers and the British Society of Enamellers, with a view to establishing our common aims and to see if there were ways we could all work together on specific projects. It proved to be a very constructive meeting, and we all resolved to talk further over the subsequent months to develop our initial ideas. Creating links with other related groups has many benefits for the Guild raising our profile and reputation as the organisation to approach on any matters to do with enamelling.
 
Over the New Year I managed to fit in a trip to Istanbul for a week to escape the freezing cold conditions of the UK. Little did I know it was freezing cold in Istanbul too!! However, I find you never mind the snow when on holiday and Saint Sophia and the Blue Mosque looked just as magnificent framed by winter fuchsia pink skies at dusk and the Turkish baths seemed even more luxurious after being out in the cold all day! I particularly enjoyed the Spice Bazaar with all its colours and smells and as the clock was two hours ahead of UK time, we had the excuse to celebrate New Year twice in one evening! Some of you may have seen the article ‘Face of Craft’ in the Craft and Design Magazine Jan/Feb 2009 edition. It features me as the current Chairman of the Guild and gave me an opportunity to talk about the Guild, what we do, and how I became involved in enamelling. I have received a superb response as a result, including a student emailing me to say that the article has inspired her to use enamel in her final project!
 
The Jan/Feb 09 Crafts Magazine also featured an article about enamel with a review of the Playing with Fire Exhibition, (which is now showing at the Visual Arts Centre in Lincolnshire until 9th May). Thank you also to Alexandra Woolner for her review in the last Journal, I know many of you have been to see this exhibition and it has stimulated some interesting discussions about contemporary enamelling.
 
On Sunday, January 18th I drove to Harpenden to join members of Region 5 for their annual meal at the Glen Eagles Hotel. This was a very interesting and enjoyable lunch for me as I met with some long standing members who no longer go to Conference. I was able to get an insight to the region’s activities spanning back to 1978 as Joan Bolton King has kept scrapbooks of the region’s activities including exhibitions, workshop visits, invited guests and conference visits. Joan has kindly allowed me to borrow them and I will be taking them to this year’s Conference in York, so other members can view them too. It raises the question ‘have other regions kept records of their activities’ and if so, perhaps they could bring them to Conference too?
 
The last weekend of January hosted the executive sub committee website meeting, to review the progress and development of the Guilds new website, which is on target to go ‘live’ in April. The sub committee consists of our Web Master, Membership Officer, Editor, Past Chair and current Chairman. A demonstration of all the new features was given and matters of hosting, pricing and content were all discussed. It was all very exciting (once the wireless connections were eventually made to all the lap tops!). The main benefits to members once the site is up and running will be a better, faster updating site with more potential to expand, providing news and information about the Guild and enamelling. There will also be opportunities to submit articles in the future and all for less than were are currently paying on the existing site. My most sincere thanks goes to our Web Master, Tom Lundsten, along with Julia Riddington, Membership Officer, who have put in a huge amount of time into this development, which is essential for the future of the Guild. It was unanimously agreed that the Guild of Enamellers website is an additional benefit to our members, which will run in harmony with our much valued Journal, which will not be affected in any way by the website development.
 
I look forward to seeing many of you at Conference and sharing our Pearl Celebrations throughout the weekend. The Guild has much to be proud of, least of all our immense amount of energy and enthusiasm for our craft and the willingness to share our knowledge and experiences. It has been a privilege to be your Chairman this year I have had a great time! Thank you to all of you who I have met and worked with throughout the year, your kind words and continuing support has been brilliant!
 
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Letter from the Chair Winter 2008 Rachel Gogerly

  

 
As we welcome in the New Year Guild members know it’s that time of year when our thoughts are focused on the Guild Conference 2009. This will be a special year for the Guild, marking our thirtieth anniversary and we are going to celebrate it in York at the Thorpe Underwood Estate. This venue is a new one for the Guild and offers us high quality facilities. It is situated ten miles west of the City and a bus link will be provided from York Station for any of you coming by public transport.
 
Conference is a great way to meet other members, take part in workshops and display any of your own work in our main Themed Exhibition. There is also the opportunity to buy tools and materials from our Suppliers, attend talks by invited guest speakers and watch a Master Class on the final morning. It is also a good way to learn more about the Guild in general and meet some of the faces behind the names you see in the Journal. For those of you new to the Guild, if you wish to attend Conference, it is important you book as soon as possible, as places fill very quickly.
 
This year we are offering six workshops during the weekend plus an Art Attack on the Friday afternoon, with Bonnie Mackintosh. This means we can offer more choice and more places for you. The line up for the Saturday classes is as follows; Enamelling on Steel with John Ball, who will show you the process without needing to acid etch the steel in advance, Experimental Leaf and Foils with Ruth Ball, a day of exploring the artistic possibilities, Plique-à-jour with Phil Barnes, learn the free laying method working with silver, Painting Enamels with Gillie Hoyte Byrom, an invaluable step by step guide, Design Development with Sarah Macrae, an inspiring and confidence building day for those who want to improve their enamel design skills and Transfers with Jane Moore, a close look at decals where Jane will share her extensive knowledge on this subject. Full details of each class are listed in the Conference section of this Journal. 
 
The Master Class on Sunday morning will be Engraving – using hand tools and using the Gravermax system. Phil Barnes and Harry Forster-Stringer, both experts in their fields, will demonstrate the two methods of engraving. We also have a very special guest speaker after dinner on the Saturday night. Fred Rich, the internationally renowned enamel artist, has kindly accepted our invitation to join us and talk about his passion for enamel and how he approaches his work.
 
Liana Pattihis, an up and coming graduate from Middlesex University who is currently showing work in The Playing with Fire touring Exhibition as well as outlets in New York and Chicago, will be giving a glimpse into her extraordinary enamel world on Friday evening after the AGM. For those who didn’t made it to the Playing with Fire Exhibition in Devon, note that the show started its UK tour as of November 15th, at the Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford, and is there until 4th January. It will then be going onto the Visual Arts Centre in Lincolnshire from 28 Feb – 9 May. A report by Evangeline Long is featured in the BSOE newsletter, October 2008 edition.
 
Back in late September I went to London to show my work at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, which is always a highlight of my year for many reasons, least of all because the Goldsmiths’ Livery Hall where the show is held is one of the most majestic buildings I know in the City. As ever, many members visited and had a great day out. During this time I was able to set up an affiliation between the Guild and ‘Benchpeg’, a weekly newsletter that offers a signposting facility for the British Jewellery Trade. This means the Guild is now listed on the front page of Benchpeg, where you can easily click onto our name to enter our website. It is free and we can also send specific information that we want listed on the newsletter whenever it is appropriate. If you don’t already receive Benchpeg, have a look at www.benchpeg.com
 
While I was in London I was also invited to the V&A museum to meet with Juanita Navarro who is the Senior Conservator for Ceramics and Glass. Juanita is currently undertaking a research project in her own time looking at the technique of Émail en résille sur verre, French for ‘enamel in a net/network on glass’, or email en résille (EER). The V&A have a small collection of these delicate pieces that consist of a glass base with cavities lined with gold foil and filled with transparent and opaque enamels. I was lucky enough to handle some of them, to discuss how they were possibly made. Juanita is investigating where and when they were made and by whom if possible, with a view to creating a database of the objects and bibliographic references. Although I could not help Juanita with the historical details, Erika Speel kindly briefed me before my visit with the knowledge she holds on this subject. What was supposed to be a one-hour visit turned into four, going behind the scenes at somewhere like the V&A is a wonderful experience!
 
Since that time I have been to Edinburgh to the Region ½ annual meeting, which was held on the first weekend in November. I would like to thank Dorothy Cockrell as Regional Representative for a brilliantly well-organised event and to all the members who made me feel so welcome! We met at the Lapidary Club in Leith and despite a fuse blowing when all the kilns were turned on (Dorothy and Tony quickly sorted it out), Pat Johnson came along and calmly showed us how to make and use Riso screens with dry enamel. It was a rare opportunity for me to have a play with enamel using copper panels, which I thoroughly enjoyed and by the afternoon I had really got into the swing of it and came away triumphantly with two completed pieces.
 

There is still much to be done before Christmas, lots of orders to get out and all that shopping, but by the time you are reading this, I intend to be at home relaxing with my feet up, the cat on my lap sipping a wee dram of a good malt! Happy New Year to you all and I look forward to seeing many of you again at Conference in York.