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Ambacht in Beeld Festival 21 & 22 September 2024
NDSM Loods, Amsterdam-Noord

| Magic Enamel

Vereniging van Nederlandse Emailleurs (VNE) - Saturday 23 september & Sunday 24 september
1,5 hours
€ 20
Minimum age:
8 years
Saturday 23 september
Sunday 24 september

Enamelling is applying powdered glass to metal under high temperatures. This gives you a composition that is resistant to climatic and weather influences. This technique was already used many centuries before Christ. Depending on, for example, the colour and composition of the glass powder, the temperature during firing is higher or lower (but usually between 750 and 950 degrees Celsius). You can apply enamel to steel, copper, silver and gold. There are different materials and techniques you can apply to it. You can make and enamel utensils, jewellery, and autonomous works of art. You can create tiny works and very large ones. There is usually a degree of unpredictability: how does it come out of the kiln? Did the colours turn out exactly as planned, even relative to the other colours? Did no unintended oxides emerge? This makes enamelling an always exciting and magical process.


In this workshop entitled ‘Magical Enamel’, we will take you into the magic of making a piece of work in enamel. We will first tell you something about the age-old process of enamelling. What is enamel, what is it used for, since when, what applications are there, and why is the material so unique? Very different pieces of work are on display. We will point out the various techniques used.


Museum Elburg and its cloister garden display works of art by members of our association and foreign artists. We have the catalogue of that exhibition with us for inspiration. Now that you have got some idea of what is possible with enamel, you will get to work yourself with the basic techniques. We will teach you how to clean a copper plate and apply enamel powder. This may seem easier than it is, but we take you through this step by step. The work is fired in an oven at 850 degrees.


The work comes out very hot and red-hot. This is a magical moment! Slowly, the colour appears, and the powder becomes glass. Afterwards, you can edit the piece further by adding dyes or materials, and then it goes back into the kiln. You will eventually go home with a unique piece of work.


In addition, you will have gained some knowledge and experience about the craft process and its application in art. Have we made you enthusiastic about learning more about enamelling? We will tell you where you can take classes or workshops and what you need for your workshop.


The Association of Dutch Enamelists (VNE) was founded in 1983, so this year marks its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, a jubilee exhibition with over 200 enamel works of art by Dutch and foreign artists has been set up in Museum Elburg. According to its statutes, the VNE promotes enamelling as an artistic expression. The VNE currently has over 70 members and several donors. A general members’ meeting (ALV) is held twice a year. In addition, the VNE organises several workshops in Amersfoort every year (also open to non-members) and, if possible, an exhibition in a gallery or museum. A Newsletter is published four times a year, and members are also kept informed of activities and events by other means. Members can also visit each other’s studios and exchange knowledge and skills.


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