A new enamel fresh from the kiln today.
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.