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Alive Project brooch series.

November 22

Earlier this year I took part in a project funded by Creative Scotland and facilitated by Arran Art Trail, the Alive Project.

20 artists and craftspeople on Arran were each allocated an artist from the Arran Arts Heritage Trail and commissioned to create a piece of work inspired by them. I was given the Scottish painter, Mary Nicol Armour. Armour painted many seascapes around the Arran coast. I particularly liked the deep colour she used in her paintings and the movement created by her free brush strokes.

Visit the Arts Heritage site to see more on the work of Mary Armour.

I began by doing some observational drawings and studies of the sea from various points around the island, with a focus on colour, light and movement in different weather conditions.

Experimenting and exploring enamelling

It wasn’t long before I decided that for this project I needed to add some colour to my work and so I decided to learn the basics of enamelling.

Enamelling is new to me, so I arranged to participate in a beginner enamelling workshop at Vanilla Ink in Glasgow and I also worked alongside a jeweller, who specialises in enamelling, for a day.

I began to explore using colour, texture and technique and instantly loved the experimental aspect of this journey. Very often you don’t know what is going to come out of the kiln. Sometimes there are happy accidents. Other times a piece just doesn’t work out. I experimented with, using stencils, wet process (a bit like painting), sgraffito and use of graphite on enamel. I have barely scratched the surface, there’s lots more to learn and experiment with.

The project culminated in a series of brooches based on the changing light, colour and movement on the sea in different weather conditions.


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