A new enamel fresh from the kiln today.

Making Bardo.

After a session of careful work in which I tested the effects of disparate enamels on each other, and made notes, I decided to do one more before switching off – but this time I worked intuitively without taking notes and photographs. And Bardo emerged:

Take one piece of mucky and tired old copper 4.5 x 6 inches.

1 Clean it up a bit. Apply backing, fire at 930 c for 1 min.
Firescale on reverse side is very solid – so will use this firescale for the art.

2 Sieve overall lead free ‘bronze-green’
(manufactured by Balls in UK). Fire as above.

3 Sieve oa. Lead based ‘lime green’ opaque. A very old, discontinued enamel made by Wenger UK. With a rubber brush, carve in the green shapes (a figure and its nimbus). Fire.

4 Sieve oa. Lead based ‘soft white’ Soyer 159 – renowned for its lovely veiling effect.

5 Carve in second figure and nimbus. Fire.

6 Paint over white areas with liquid form red (Balls, lead-free); anticipating breakthrough and crackling.

7 Fire as above.

8 Result: beautiful spontaneous breakthrough and crackling.

9 Think about a title. ‘Bardo seems’ appropriate. It is Tibetan for ‘a state of change’ particularly that transition between death and rebirth.


About Harry Nicholson

I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. I write a few poems and short stories. There is an eBook anthology of them, 'Green Linnet' on Amazon. Also a novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' I've a blog of poems, stories and art at:
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6 Responses to Bardo

  1. ccjamess says:

    It’s beautiful

  2. Mike Patrick says:

    Never heard of Bardo, had to look it up. I must admit, it’s apt. My first thought was a figure from mythology. There are many may apply, from a genie to some of the forms taken on by the Greek gods.

  3. Tilly Bud says:

    Ghostly and beautiful, Harry.

  4. I love this one Harry. The colours are beautiful and there are many ways you can read this work. It looks like a mermaid in one way but then something more ethereal in the next glance. It’s very good.

  5. a wraith-like figure. Lovely colours.

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