Creative surfaces in enamel with Elizabeth Turrell

Ref: S4D09299


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About this course

Focusing on the development of personal imagery explore non-traditional approaches to vitreous enamel on copper and pre-enamelled steel. Use simple drawing, printmaking, painting and abrading methods to produce a wide range of enamel effects.

Course Description

Non-traditional approaches to glass on metal - it is possible to achieve a range of enamel surfaces, from the very subtle to the most sumptuous, using the basic vocabulary of mark-making familiar to visual artists.

The enamel surface will be created by using these mark-making and printing approaches. After each firing, the possibilities of revealing the underlying surface will be explored by subtracting areas of the enamel by abrading or stoning the fired surface. The great advantage of abrading the surface once it is fired is that the true state of the enamel is obvious, stoning allows a slow revealing of underlying line, colour and texture - a form of 'mining' for the hidden, a palimpsest.

The surface can be developed further by additions of the following; decals/transfers, gold or silver foils, textural materials, lustres and onglaze-glaze enamels.

This workshop is suitable for experienced enamellists, jewellers, painters, printmakers and metalsmiths and will encourage an innovative and personal approach.

You will start by using wet-process enamel on pre-enamelled steel and copper and investigate the qualities of mark making approaches suitable for enamel. The aim is to build rich or subtle surfaces using simple covering methods such as pouring, spraying in conjunction with drawing, sgraffito, masking, stencilling, printing and abrading.

These are some of the approaches:

Applications of enamel decals/transfers

A range of textural surfaces will be made by the additions of copper firescale, various metallic oxides, sand and ceramic materials.

Additions of graphite drawing, over-glaze enamels, lustres, silver and gold foils

Discussions on the final presentation of the work

Having initially explored these approaches there will be time to design and develop personal imagery. You are encouraged to bring examples of your work, drawings and any source material you might like to develop during the workshop.

Each technique/approach is demonstrated with a discussion following, so that you are able to carry out the process safely with understanding and by the end of the course have the knowledge and confidence to develop your own imagery in enamel.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Enamels and general materials used by the group as a whole.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring examples of your work or photographs of your work. It can be enamel or any other medium.
  • For your use as a starting point: Any personal reference or source material for inspiration such as journals, sketch or scrapbooks.
  • Any sifting enamels
  • Apron and small towel or dishtowel
  • Decorative rubber stamps
  • Found stencils/letter stencils/plastic grids etc.
  • Scrap paper, used computer paper (not newspaper)
  • Sifters: 80, 100, 200 mesh
  • Alundum stone 200 grit
  • Various soft brushes for painting
  • Old teaspoon, dessertspoon and toothbrush
  • Enclosed toe footwear (essential)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • We have a generously stocked craft shop, which opens daily from 8.30am-2pm.
  • For any materials you need to purchase from the shop, we suggest you do so during the first morning of your course, after having discussed with your tutor.
  • Copper sheet
  • Small pieces of copper sheet or foil
  • Silver or gold foil
  • Sgraffito tools
  • Masking tape ½ or 1 inch
  • Drawing pen and pencils
  • Craft knife
  • Metal ruler
  • Brushes
  • Water-based felt-tips (1 fine + 1 broad) any colour
  • Notebook / sketchbook
  • Metal-bladed palette knife
  • Scissors


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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