December 03, 2015

Our life journey, illuminated by meaning, becomes a pilgrimage : connecting us to our inner self, to each other, and to what is sacred in the world. JL.

‘In sacred travel, every experience is uncanny. No encounter is without meaning.’  Phil Cousineau ‘The Art of Pilgrimage’


'The Time Of Your Life' lyrics by Randy Newman in 'A Bug's Life'
'Isn't it a bit surprising
How one's fortunes ebb and flow
And only to the enterprising
Does the magic fortune cookie go
Believe me
It's the time of your life so live it well.'

Cooking up a new batch of enamelled charms.

I've been cooking up a storm in my workshop. My enamelled charms, as always a magical surprise in colour subtleties with each and every firing.
Because the charms are fired in ones or twos, and the glass powders packed on individually by hand, they are always going to be different to one another. It's a subtle difference, but something I value since it reflects the sort of uniqueness that defines an individual.

Colour is affected by temperature (average 520ºC/1500ºF), the amount of time fired in the kiln, thickness and layering of coloured glass powder, and of course the chemical make-up of the glass.
My Cosmos Daisies are the most variable, shading from pale to dark pink, and requiring 3 to 4 firings each.The gorgeous chartreuse green (every time I see that colour I think how gorgeous it is!) transparent enamel of my Spring Leaves is the most consistent colour. They are packed into the silver framed in several layered firings in the ancient method of champleve, filed smooth with an abrasive stone, and given a final smoothing firing in the kiln: usually around 4 firings por every leaf.
I love the colour, the alchemy and the care required...and feeling like a mother, I sometimes wonder where they will travel in life, who will wear them, will they get lost along the way or will they be heirlooms for children and grandchildren.
(Enamelling this way is a very ancient tradition, most commercial enamelling out there is not glass, but similar to car paint, sometimes cured at a low oven temperature, effectively a hard plastic, which while often very pretty in colour, will not last forever.)
Chartreuse Spring Leaves, fresh from the oven. Cosmos Daisies getting born in the workshop, each unique in colour.

Jacky Lloyd
Jacky Lloyd