Friday, 10 February 2012

A kiln of one's own



Anyone who reads this blog will know that I have a love affair with silver. Add enamel to silver, though, and my excitement levels go through the roof. The liquid glass-like colour with silver beneath it is utterly beautiful and it's been nearly four years since I wanted to make my own enamelled pieces. 



I went to learn how with Lynne in 2010, borrowed Juliet's kiln, and was on the point of buying my own last summer, when suddenly my car needed mending.  The kiln plan was shelved for a while, but yesterday my very own tiny, shiny kiln arrived. The picture above is what 800 degrees looks like. Fiery.



My kiln's arrival is timely: I heard this week that I've been accepted to have a stall at the Selvedge Spring Fair and I needed some fresh designs for the new year. Frankly the ideas have been tumbling over one another, spinning about in my head and keeping me awake some nights. The common thread for all of these part-formed ideas, though, is enamel.

The shards of Victorian pottery I keep finding in the garden (picture above taken last summer) have been inspiring me, as has Alice's recommended reading, vintage lace and feedsack florals, Moorcroft, William de Morgan, Archibald Knox and CFA Voysey



This is the first piece I made today with my brand new kiln, once I had managed to channel the jumbled ideas from my head into my hands for an hour or two. It's a tiny sample, far from perfect and there's still lots of sketching to do and designs to refine but it feels wonderful to make something and not have to dash across the fens to return the kiln afterwards.

I ordered twelve new enamel colours today. I can hardly wait until they arrive. I guess it's the same feeling passionate knitters or crocheters must have after they've just ordered some beautiful new yarn.



I made a tiny silver garden trowel today too.

43 comments:

Planet Penny said...

Ooh Emma, that little firey kiln looks SO scary and exciting, I can't wait to see what you make next! I LOVE the little trowel. I think I need an Emma Mitchell charm bracelet!
Penny xxx

Toffeeapple said...

Oh Emma, those are beautiful things, well done. The enamelling is exquisite, so cleverly done. Congratulations on getting the stall too.

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

Squeeeaaaak, how exciting. It is embarrassing how giddy I can get over a new silversmithing tool, so i know how you must feel getting such a big and crucial piece of kit. It is funny how inspiration comes in great swooshes isn't it?

I am interested Selvedge is involving makers outside of textiles, is that a new direction for them?

Look forward to seeing your colourful creations - how perfect they will be for spring. Bxxxx

Pennyblossoms said...

Phew! Hot! Perfect for this weather!!
You might look at that pendant and see imperfections, but to my eye it looks so pretty. I love Voysey!
Fantastic news about the Selvedge stall; I'd say they were lucky to have you there!
Cutey trowel. Your tiny items are fab.
Have a great weekend (and 1/2 term?).
Z xx

marigold jam said...

Beautiful Emma. I lived for a time near Limoges which is known for enamel and was always fascinated and enthralled by the pieces I saw in the galleries there. I wished I could learn how to do it but I doubt I'd have understood the instructions!! Look forward to seeing more of your work in due course.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Wow, 800 deg is hot, isn't it!!
Your new little piece is beautiful, I love the blue and green and your little trowel is so cute!
Vivienne x

deZeal said...

I just had a look through some of your pieces. O my, they are some gorgeous silver beauties!!! You are soooo talented... wish I had a bit of a talent like that:)
Hugs!

Annie said...

How exciting! The fair and the kiln.

Love the inspiration list ... Moorcroft, de Morgan, Knox and Voysey ... you're clearly a girl after my own heart!

Not So Granny said...

Does it have an annealing setting? I have been itching to have a go at lampwork beads and I have almost all the other stuff needed but they need annealing or they snap. If you are intrigued we could have a go together?...

Country Girl said...

How exciting, I bet you'll make some wonderful things.
I just love that tiny trowel!

Poppy said...

You are so talented, your work is a joy to look at! :0) x

Penelope said...

This is the most exciting news Emma, I am so pleased for you and even more pleased that we get to see all your beautiful makes. The mini trowel is too divine. I saw a tutorial on how to convert a thimble into a necklace charm and then use it as a teeny tiny vase on Pinterest the other day and thought of you and your tiny pitchers that you made. I'm loving your nature inspired and garden implement miniatures, such good news about the Spring Selvedge fair too! Clever you xox

Magic Bean said...

Well I know where I need to go if the heating breaks down!
I hope you have hours of fun with your new toy. And no burns... Ax

Ali said...

How exciting - Selvedge Spring Fair and the kiln!!

Menopausalmusing said...

Eeek!

Pomona said...

They're so beautiful! I am wearing my feather right now and I love it!

Pomona x

claire@farfromharmfarm said...

wow, a kiln at 800 degrees is kind of scary! very pretty pendant though...can't wait to see what you do. i adore the trowel!

Tania said...

OOH. I can imagine moments of breath-holding and adrenaline flowing as those ideas pop into your head. Big yay, for you, Lovely!

PS. Hope you don't mind, but my Small wants to type you a comment too:

rftyyryygrutyytyhtityytu tuuyuuyuyuyuuyuutiuu6uu6uu66u

(she was saying nice things about the sweet trowel).

Twiggy said...

That is exciting news, and what lovely makes, the trowel is gorgeous. I know I'm slow on the uptake but I finally read my Kirstie Allsop Craft book, that I received for my birthday today and was very excited to see you mentioned :)
Twiggy x

by Teresa said...

Emma, I'm very excited for you to get your own kiln! I can just envision many wonderful things in your future coming out of the fire! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Trash said...

Yes it is most probably the same 'squeeeeeeee' feeling. And it is also most likely similar to the feeling I got when looking at your trowel. Oh the possibilities!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your new product line :-) I have a pair of your viburnum earrings, and I love enamelling work. Have great fun with your new "toy"! How exciting it all is. And BTW I think the Moorcroft inspiration is spot on.
Jill

Pink Milk said...

That necklace is just exquisite. You and enamel are clearly a match made in heaven.

Your excitement is literally bubbling out of the page!

I'm so looking forward to seeing your creations ...

Hx

dottycookie said...

SQUEEEEEEEEEE! So excited for you!

Can I come and play one day? Can I? Can I? I promise to just watch and not to break anything!

Julie said...

How exciting, hope you are having lots of fun with your kiln. I think I'd be scared of it! Juliex

The Coffee Lady said...

That's just gorgeous. Now, if I could just find me four dwarves...

Thrifty Household said...

The possibilities are endless now...!!! Happy Creating!

fiona said...

There'll be no stopping you now. Love that little trowel. And I managed to fire some silver clay on my own camp stove, thanks to that morning with you. Another small step forward.

Rachel said...

Doing a little happy dance on your behalf - it will be great to see what new things you are able to do!

julie said...

Oh the trowel, the teeny, tiny trowel - so perfect! I can feel your excitement too and can't wait to see what other treasures you create with your new bestest friend kilny - you two have certainly started out so well - that enamelled necklace is truly beautiful x

Gillian - Tales from a happy house said...

The necklace is stunning but i especially love the little trowel. Beautiful.

Gina said...

So excited for you Emma... your own kiln and the Selvedge Spring Fair... wow! Love that little trowel.

driftwood said...

utterly wonderfully exciting news, love those colours and that little spade, adorable x

kristina said...

Congratulations on your new kiln! And I'm completely in love with the little garden trowel. K x

Thimbleanna said...

Oooooh, how exciting!!! Your work is just beautiful Emma -- SOOOOO pretty!!!!

sam said...

gorgeous. Now, if I could just find me four dwarves...
I just love that tiny trowel!
watch more at http://www.accessoriess.co.uk
cool collections

Cottage Garden said...

Your pendant is beautiful - very Arts & Crafts which I love.

Congratulations on your new kiln. I look forward to seeing more wonderful creations.

Emma, I've also just noticed the credits on your sidebar and the craft classes you are holding
- goodness you've been busy!

Jeanne
x

Kathy in Michigan USA said...

Love the new enamel jewelry! so dainty. Will there be little dangley silver or enamel things at the bottom? Can't wait for more things in your etsy shoppe, but nice to see you are sold out.

Calico Kate said...

Oh I can feel the excitment ooozing out of this post Emma! I know that feeling of ideas being all of a jumble and desperate to get out that it keeps you awake in the best possible way. Looking forward to seeing more, though your first piece is rather lovely, well done. I LOVE that trowel too so dinky.
CKx

bunnythreads said...

oh so beautiful... I love what you done. What grand fun you must be having,ideas swirling around (~.~)

nimble fingers and steady eyebrows said...

I love your tiny silver things, that trowel is awesome. The kiln must be super exciting. I am looking forward to seeing all the exciting things you do with it. - Annie

ZedPea said...

Your own kiln?! That's so exciting! How big is it? Do you, like, just put it on the kitchen worksurface? And when people ask what it is, do you just say 'Oh, that's just my kiln, no big deal'?? Love it!

mrspao said...

A kiln! How exciting :) I have some lovely bit of china with violets on you could have. The naughty boy kitten broke them and I've hoarded them until I could find a nice home for them.