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About the Artist
After studying art history and printmaking through graduate school, it was by chance that I discovered the art of vitreous enameling. At first, it was the medium’s vibrant colors on precious metal that caught my attention. However, I soon realized the unique graphic quality of this medium and became particularly intrigued by the technique of cloisonné enameling.
“Cloisonné” is a term derived from the French word “cloison,” meaning “partition.” It requires building a three dimensional structure, which holds the enamel, by clipping, forming, and assembling silver or gold cloisonné wires. This process of “drawing with wire” requires precision, discipline, and economy in visual communication. I still find this to be the most challenging, and the most compelling, stage of creating this art form. Once the wire work is complete, each partition is then carefully layered with vitreous enamel, and the piece is fired at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat fuses the enamel onto its base, creating a mosaic of colored glass in vibrant hues. I repeat the layering and firing process multiple times until the enamel reaches its desired depth. In total, each piece can take about 10 to 15 firings, with subtle changes in color and depth at each step. Next, the piece is polished smooth, then either fired one last time to bring back its luster or polished with a fine-grade file to create a matte surface. Finally, I construct a unique bezel for each enamel piece, often incorporating semi-precious gemstones.
It has been almost fifteen years since I started working with this medium full-time. It is the clarity of linework and the color juxtapositions, both expected and unexpected, that continue to intrigue me in this age-old art form. The possibilities are infinite, and every morning, I am back in my studio with excitement and anticipation of a new challenge. Lives and works in Arlington, VA.