Bonnie Shopper
Bonnie Shopper
Bonnie Shopper

GSLAA

 

Bonnie Shopper

314 862-0408

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Bonnie Shopper, Enameling

Bonnie Shopper
Enameling is an ancient art.  It has been dated to the 6th Century B.C., and perhaps earlier.  Basically, enameling is the fusing of powdered glass onto metal.  The results are relatively rapid: each firing in a preheated 1500 degree kiln may take only two minutes.  The piece is allowed to cool, then cleaned and prepared for the next layer of powdered glass to be applied and fired.  This entire process is repeated many times, adding to the design and colors until considered complete. Bonnie Shopper

Enameling is an ancient art.  It has been dated to the 6th Century B.C., and perhaps earlier.  Basically, enameling is the fusing of powdered glass onto metal.  The results are relatively rapid: each firing in a preheated 1500 degree kiln may take only two minutes.  The piece is allowed to cool, then cleaned and prepared for the next layer of powdered glass to be applied and fired.  This entire process is repeated many times, adding to the design and colors until considered complete.

This is an exciting media in which to work.  I use copper, a warm rich metal, and the combination with transparent glass results in great depth and gem-like brilliance of color.  Bare copper, when heated, will oxidize.  I often incorporate this natural property in my designs to create even more intensity and depth of colors.  I also use a welding torch to melt the edges of some copper pieces.  I like the juxtaposition of the rough dark edge with the smooth elegance of the enamel.

Although I have taken classes at Brooklyn Museum and Arrowmont, I am essentially self taught.  There is an advantage: through many years of experimentation and happy accidents, I have developed several techniques which seem to be uniquely my own.

Bonnie Shopper at her kiln

 

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