“My effort is to delight the viewer by integrating my creative thoughts with a timeless material.”
Barbara Minor, a studio artist living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, concentrates on experimental work and research in enameling. She is well known for her innovative enameled beads, her distinctive enameled jewelry and her unique enameled vessels.
She began enameling during graduate school and continued innovative explorations in enamel processes, with the support of research grants, while teaching a SUNY Geneseo. Barbara has exhibited/marketed her enameled jewelry at major juried craft shows and craft galleries.
She regularly teaches workshops, focused on her innovative approaches to enameling techniques, across the U.S. and abroad. Her work has been pictured in 500 Enameled Objects, The Art of Enameling, and Art Jewelry Today.
Enamel is an ancient form of art that was used by the Egyptians, Chinese, Japanese and French, along with many other cultures. Enamel is a fine glass powder that can be applied and fired onto metal in a wide variety of ways to achieve a vast array of results. Metals used as a base for the enamel application can be fine silver, high karat gold, pure copper, steel or low zinc alloys of brass/bronze.
I enamel, primarily, on pure copper with opaque and transparent enamels. To increase my color options, I use fine silver and 24 kt. gold foils under the transparent colors. I enjoy using over 150 colors of enamel to create surface designs, images and the illusion of texture on flat and formed metal surfaces. All of my completed pieces are set in fabricated in sterling silver and gold.
I use sifted methods to apply many layers of very thin enamel color. The enamel powder has a texture similar to a mixture of particles ranging in size from fine flour to coarse sugar. Each color layer is fired separately, with any given piece requiring between at least 10 and 30 firings, to develop the design, mature the colors and reach completion. All of my pieces are unique in how the enamel is applied even though some shapes are repeated.
My effort is to delight the viewer by integrating my creative thoughts with a timeless material and an endlessly interesting process and making beautiful, contemporary, and wearable works of art.
Ornament Magazine Interview: http://www.ornamentmagazine.org/v322-barbara-minor