Colour has always been the most important aspect of my jewellery and enamelling – the process of fusing coloured glass to metal, has become my chosen medium. The glass is ground to a fine powder, washing it frequently to remove any impurities, before inlaying it into recesses of silver known technically as champlevé. The piece is then heated for a short time in a kiln until the glass liquefies and fuses to the metal.
A centuries old craft, enamelling is a very exacting technique requiring the finest, purist materials and meticulous care to avoid any impurities which can taint the flawless gem-like beauty of melted glass.
The inspiration for my jewellery comes from the tiny motifs and patterns found in Japanese artifacts and textiles. My ideas are first drawn on paper as pure pictorial images without necessarily considering them as jewellery designs – this enables me to work freely without reference to the constraints imposed by the technical limitations of enamelling. Only when I arrive at a pleasing image do I begin to consider whether it is technically possible to transpose the idea to a jewellery context. I have spent a considerable amount of time researching and developing the design, making and application of fine ceramic transfers to enamel. This has enabled me to achieve very fine detail in my new work without losing the essential aesthetic appeal of the original drawing.
I now finally create the designs for my jewellery on the computer. The silver is photo etched leaving me a recess in which to inlay the base coat of enamel and then the enamel transfers (which are also designed using ‘Photoshop’) are overlaid and fired. I am delighted that I have been able to combine a very new design process with the ancient craft of enamelling.
Jane graduated from Loughborough College of Art & Design in 1974. She exhibits her work in a number of selected galleries including; Electrum Gallery, London; Lesley Craze Gallery, London; Eton Applied Arts, Windsor; The Steensons, Belfast; and Ruthin, North Wales. Jane also runs a contemporary jewellery gallery in Royal Leamington Spa.