Thursday, March 8, 2012

Torched Studio - Made in Canada Series

Freedom has the pleasure of carrying a brilliant selection of enamelled jewellery pieces from Torched Studio. Gazers always ooohh and aaahh at their vibrancy and ask, "what they are made of? .. and how?!" So, we decided to ask the designer to take us into her workshop and share with us her drive and process.

Below, Yvonne Villeneuve of Torched Studio talks a bit about what inspires her and about the process involved in actualising her wonderful and colourful designs.

Yvonne also has a blog where she posts all her wonderful inspirations >> here!

I love colour and I love experimenting…and I love melting things.  So it isn’t surprising that I love enamelling because it allows me to do all of that.

Enamelling involves firing very finely ground glass, or vitreous enamel, onto a metal base at a temperature of around 1500 degrees.  I kiln fire my enamels and I use copper for my base.  My pieces are all about the colour, so I like to keep my shapes simple.  I definitely have a fondness for circles!

I started from making silver jewellery and then experimented with gemstones - but even gemstones didn’t give that hit of colour I craved. Silver also doesn’t allow me to “play” in the way that enamel does. With enamel, I am able to create new colours and patterns with a technique similar to watercolour painting. I build up layers of opaque and transparent enamels, firing each layer separately then carefully over-firing so that the layers bubble and blend. Some of my pieces have taken over forty firings! I also burn out areas to create oxidation patterns and borders. In fact, many of the processes I use in my work, such as over-firing, oxidation and burning are things that you are “not supposed to do” in traditional enamelling. But I’ve never been very good at following the rules.


I also teach other people how to enamel. I hold small, individually tailored classes on a somewhat regular basis. I love seeing how excited people are by what they can create with enamel. Students often do a little “enamel dance” when their first finished piece comes out of the kiln.

Pepe is a rolling mill that I’ve just recently purchased. This is something I’ve been wanting for a long, long time. A rolling mill is a piece of equipment with hard steel rollers that you squish metal between. If you squish the metal with something that has a pattern, that pattern will be imprinted into the metal. Which just creates oodles more possibilities of things to make!
My work is always changing, always evolving. So keep an eye out when you visit Freedom Clothing Collective because there will always be something new!

Like what you see?

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