Posted by Ruth Ball

I was fortunate to be able to visit the Ruthin Gallery this weekend and must recommend the set of exhibitions currently on show.
The full set of works in the enamel exhibition Surface and Substance, has travelled from the joint venues in London, Electrum and CAA, and looks spectacular in Gallery One.
The equally impressive solo shows showcasing jeweller Jacqueline Mina and textile designer Ptolemy Mann in the other two inked galleries
are a delight.

Well worth a visit
- shows close 15th of January 2012.

Click here for more details

Ptolemy Mann

19 November 2011 –
15 January 2012

Gallery 1

The words ground-breaking and weaver don’t often appear in the same sentence but both are unavoidable when talking about Ptolemy Mann. She is a dynamic artist-craftsman-designer who never stands still, who continually pushes at the boundaries of weaving with her imaginative embrace of new technology and who always thinks big.

Annabel Freyberg

Jacqueline Mina
Touching Gold

19 November 2011 –
15 January 2012

Gallery 2

Jacqueline Mina is a consummately accomplished artist, continually experimenting with techniques which produce the most exquisite, textured and coloured titanium, platinum and gold jewellery. Her outstanding skill is but the means to create highly recognisable and characteristic jewellery, in an inventive and innovative language of her own.

Marina Vaizey

Jacqueline Mina: A touring exhibition in conjuction with The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, and Contemporary Applied Arts, London.

Surface & Substance
International Contemporary Enamel Jewellery

19 November 2011 –
15 January 2012

Gallery 3

Curated by Jessica Turrell, Surface & Substance showcases the work of thirty jewellers from Europe and North America whose innovative exploration of enamel challenges traditional preconceptions.

Ralph Bakker
Carola Bauer
Jamie Bennett
Stacey Bentley
Adrean Bloomard
Patrizia Bonati
Stephen Bottomley
Kathleen Browne
Jessica Calderwood
Helen Carnac
Bettina Dittlmann
Lydia Feast
Susie Ganch
Carolina Gimeno
Christine Graf
Karin Johansson
Ike Jünger
Kaori Juzu
Jutta Klingebiel
Esther Knobel
Ann Little
Liana Pattihis
Jacqueline Ryan
Isabell Schaupp
Vera Siemund
Marjorie Simon
Silke Trekel
Elizabeth Turrell
Jessica Turrell
Annamaria Zanella

A touring exhibition in conjuction with Electrum Gallery, London and Contemporary Applied Arts, London.

Post from Ellen Goldman - The Heat is On

September was a busy, but very pleasant month for John and myself. The highlight of the month was our trip to England where we attended the preview of the BSOE exhibition in the Garden Gallery of the Oxfordshire Museum at Woodstock.

For me, this was the first time that I showed some of my work in an exhibition with other members of the BSOE and I felt proud to have been able to participate in this venture.

We travelled from the Netherlands to Woodstock by ferry and car and we arrived in Woodstock after a very pleasant trip. We found the Oxfordshire Museum without any difficulties. We were early and the Garden Gallery was still closed but we were welcomed by an attendant of the Museum who invited us to visit the Museum while we were waiting for the Garden Gallery to be opened and told us that the coffeshop would open in a few minutes.

We found the atmosphere of the entry hall with the museum shop very pleasant and spent some time buying small presents for our grandchildren.

When the doors to the Garden Gallery were opened and the Preview began I could not believe my eyes: the show was beautifully arranged with a number of show cases and the gallery walls were covered with a large number of panels. The large work by Pat Johnson, opposite the entrance, immediately struck me because of its size and its beautiful colours. This work, consisting of three panels entitled ‘Exuberance’ was - - at least for me - - one of the highlights of the exhibition.

In the glass showcases jewellery and small objects were displayed. It may sound strange, but it somehow seemed as if each of the showcases was a small separate exhibition while it still remained part of the entire show.

When John and I had returned home, I mentioned this to Pat in one of my emails and she answered that Annie Appleyard had been responsible for arranging the displays in the showcases and that she (Pat) agreed that Annie had created a unique atmosphere in each of them.

I myself was most impressed by the show case which held a group of small houses, huts and sheds, made by Evangeline Long. The severe display in this case stressed the forlornless of the landscape.

I was not surprised to notice that during this preview a good number of pieces were sold. It proves that the BSOE is on the right track and I hope to see many more BSOEexhibitions in the future.

Ellen Goldman


and http://www.caa.org.uk/

There is a very good review of the exhibitions written by Isabelle Busnell on her blog.

Alt Text

International contemporary enamel jewellery – Curated by Jessica Turrell

Part I: 7th October to 5th November 2011 at Electrum

Part II: 14th October to 12th November at Contemporary Applied Arts

Over the last few years there has been a significant revival of interest in enamel with a number of contemporary jewellers developing new ways of working with enamel that enable them to create exciting and innovative work.

This exhibition showcases the work of thirty jewellers of international standing who, through a varied set of practices, take enamel well beyond its traditional boundaries.

The title, Surface and Substance, has been chosen to emphasize that while this is clearly an exhibition that focuses on the use of vitreous enamel – the surface – of equal importance is the ‘substance’ that underpins the work on display; the thinking and the research, which along with the obvious material knowledge and skill, is evident in the striking and individual pieces on show.

Artists on show at Electrum:
Ralph Bakker, Carola Bauer, Patrizia Bonati, Stephen Bottomley, Kathleen Browne, Lydia Feast, Karin Johansson, Jutta Klingebiel, Ann Little, Nazan Pak, Jacqueline Ryan, Marjorie Simon, Silke Trekel, Jessica Turrell

Artists on show at CAA, 14 October – 12 November 2011:
Jamie Bennett, Stacey Bentley, Jessica Calderwood, Adrean Bloomard, Helen Carnac, Bettina Dittlmann, Susie Ganch, Christine Graf, Carolina Gimeno, Ike Junger, Kaori Juzu, Esther Knoble, Liana Pattihis, Isabell Schaupp, Vera Siemund, Elizabeth Turrell, Jessica Turrell, Annamaria Zanella

You Tube Video Links - Cartier

Posted by Ruth Ball

Just came across these You Tube clips from Cartier - thought I'd post them together.

The Heat is On - Photos

The BOSE exhibition at Woodstock 'The Heat is On' as been very well recieved, with sales doing very well. The exhibition ends on Oct 15 and is well worth a visit. An article about the exhibition is being written by Ellen Goodman which will appear in the BSOE web site magazine.

The Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street,Woodstock,OX20 1SN

The Heat Is On

The Oxfordshire Museum are hosting 'The Heat is On', the latest exhibition of work by members of the British Society of Enamellers.

The exhibition opens 17th September and closes 15th October 2011

Open: Tuesday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm
Sunday 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Closed: Mondays
Note: The Exhibition is also closed on Tuesday 4th October

The work of over 30 BSOE members will be on display, ranging from exquisite precious jewellery to large scale steel panels.

The Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street,Woodstock,OX20 1SN
T: 01993 811456
Web: www.tomocc.org.uk
Email: oxon.museum@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Deirdre Mc Crory - Enamels at 10 Downing Street

No. 10 Downing Street is now the prestigous location of an amazing new enamel piece created by Cara Murphy, and enamelled by Deirdre McCrory.

Cara was commissioned by The Silver Trust in 2008 to provide the first piece from Northern Ireland in its Downing Street Collection. Her desk set, entitled Contour, has been three years in the making and has already crossed the Irish Sea eight times to undergo various processes including hallmarking, polishing and engraving.

'I am very honoured and excited at the thought of having a piece that will be used daily by the Prime Minister,' said Murphy, who is Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. She presented her creation to Rupert Hambro, chairman of trustees of The Silver Trust, at a reception at Hillsborough Castle on Monday, May 23. The piece is now sits on the Prime Ministers desk at No 10.

The piece uses sterling silver, Wenge wood and enamel, and was inspired by elements of the Northern Irish countryside. 'I’m inspired by nature and the landscape,' said Murphy. 'By using enamel, I’ve introduced colour and experimented extensively with shades of green to get the perfect combination.

The various shade of green were enamelled by Deirdre, who researched and tested several combinations of colours in order to complete the creation of this magnificent piece.

To see more of Cara's work visit http://www.caramurphy.com/

Deirdre has also had work purchased recently by the Ulster Museum. Picetured below is a Pepper Pot and sugar Caster which is inspired by Deirdre's drawings and prints of prickly pears.

View more of Deirdre's work here http://www.deirdremccrory.com/

Goldsmiths Fair 2011

Open from11am to 7.00pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 6.00pm

With an overall focus on superlative design, craftsmanship and excellence, the Fair is a magnet for discerning collectors from both the UK and abroad. Over two weeks 160 designer showcase their stunning designs.


Enamellers in Week One - Monday, September 26 to Sunday, October 2

  • Vladimir Bohm
  • Rachel Gogerly
  • Tamar De Vires Winter
  • Grace Girvan
  • Indgo Henn
  • Alexander Raphael
Enamellers in Week Two - Tuesday, October 4 to Sunday, October 9
  • Regina Aradesian
  • Ruth Ball
  • Leo De Vroomen
  • Rachel Emmerson
  • Joan MacKarell
  • Alexander Raphael
  • Fred Rich
  • Melissa Rigby
For full information please visit

Student Request

A message from Natalie Niedzielski niedzielski@gmx.net

Please reply directly if you can help.....

My name is Natalie, I am 26 years old and I live in the South of Germany.
Three weeks ago, I received my goldsmith degree at the State College for Glass and Jewellery in Neugablonz.

During my three years there, I took part in a one week enamel course with Nikolaus Kirchner, who is a german cloissonne-enamel artist.
Since then, I started to work and experiment myself with enamel in jewellery.
Plique-a-jour became the main part of my journeyman´s piece.

Now, I would like to deepen my experience, learn about and work more with enameling.
To enable this, I am looking for a placement or the option to work for Enamel-Artists for short, or if possible a longer term.
My aim is to help with the work and to learn thereby.

May be, some members of your society would like to have a student apprentice ?

I would be very happy, if you could find the time to answer and I am looking forward to hear from you.

Thank you,
Kind regards,
Natalie Niedzielski niedzielski@gmx.net


The British Silver Week Festival of Silver launched in The Pangolin Fine art gallery in London’s King’s Cross the week of 9-13 May 2011. Five days of themed exhibitions featured more than 100 of Britain’s finest contemporary silversmiths.

Further selected national exhibitions can be visited nationally and internationally until the end of the year - check the list below.

For information please veiw full press articles here ;

and the British Silver Week Web site http://www.britishsilverweek.co.uk/index.html

Pangolin Gallery, Kings Cross, London

Images from Day 3 : ‘Decorative Silver, Engraving and Enamel’ which featured collections by 22 master-silversmiths, chasers, engravers and enamellers.

Headlining the event was the Goldsmiths’ Company & Cartier Award winning , Fred Rich.

The event was a fabulous opprtuntiy to view several pieces ranging from

his smaller cups to his magnificent vases.

Ruth Ball displayed her recent collection of small bowls and dishes which

highlight patterns in nature and focus on themes of seasonality.

Gillie Hoyte Byrom had an exquist display of enamel portraits.

The finest details and renderings of the figures were typically awesome .

Rachel Gogerly displayed a range of small works.

Particulary beautiful were her stunning dishes.

Jenny Edge's sculptural table ware had facinating appeal,

her transparent enamels being fired perfectly into anti clastic raised froms.

Alongside the enamellers on day three where silversmiths who's work was a tour de force in engraving and decorative skillls. Promenient master craftsmen such as Allan Craxford, Malcombe Appleby, and Wally Gilbert exhibited the most amazing displays, alongside some exciting yougner emerging makers. The exhibition certaily backed up Gordon Hamme's quotes in his article :

“Contemporary silversmithing is enjoying a renaissance in the UK. In the last three hundred years there have never been more talented working silversmiths in the UK. The teaching by the art colleges of traditional silversmithing skills combined with contemporarydesign ideas has produced a remarkable group of modern silversmiths. Silversmithing is the great, unsung craft. People are only now starting to appreciate the craftsmanship as works of art, which are often beautiful sculptures, many with a practical use too.At British Silver Week events there will be pieces on sale from as little as £200 to £100,000. This is the best opportunity to meet the widely diverse and enormously talented silversmiths currently working in the UK and enables people to view, buy and commission works of art from these great British makers.”

Check out further exhibition dates and details of exhibiting artist here;

De Vroomen Belgravia 6th to 30th June www.devroomen.co.uk
Mayfair 19th to 23rd September www.garrard.com
Hamilton & Inches Ltd Edinburgh 1st to 30th July www.hamiltonandinches.com
Hamilton & Inches Ltd
(closed Mondays)
London 6th June to 2nd July www.hamiltonandinches.com
John Higgins Contemporary Silver Lindfield, West Sussex 18th June to 3rd July contemporarysilver@live.com
Payne & Son (Silversmiths) Ltd Royal Tunbridge Wells 6th to 25th June www.payneandson.com
The Scottish Gallery
Edinburgh 2nd July to 31st July www.scottish-gallery.co.uk
Sheffield Assay Office
(Butcher Works) 14th to 25th June www.assayoffice.co.uk
Urban Armour Ltd Norfolk 16th June to 23rd July www.urbanamour.co.uk
William & Son Mayfair 6th to 17th June www.williamandson.com
Oeding Erdel in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

12th to 15th August
19th to 22th August

Duru Artspace Gallery
Seoul, Korea 25th October to 8th Nov www.duruart.com

Stacey Bentley

Check out this link to Stacey Bentley's recent exhibition.


Stacey Bentley

04 June 2011 - 29 June 2011

Stacey Bentley graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2008 with a 1st class honours degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing. It was here that she first developed a passion for enamelling as part of the jewellery making process, inspiring her to embark upon an MA in jewellery, also at ECA.

Through material experimentation, Stacey’s work explores the new possibilities that industrial liquid enamel can bring to contemporary jewellery. Her aim is to challenge the pre-conceived ideas attached to enamel by questioning technique, process and aesthetic. Stacey’s elegant yet gritty structural work is informed and inspired by the industrial city.

Red brooch
Red brooch 2011 -oxidised silver, iron, enamel, stainless steel pin

Mindful of Silver - Goldsmiths Hall

Last few days of Mindful of Silver at the Goldsmiths Hall.
Check out the work of Vladimir Bohm who has been selected for this prestious show.

  • Friday May 27 to Saturday July 16
  • Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm

Admission Free

Mindful of Silver

Mindful of Silver

“Mindful of Silver” is an exciting and stimulating exhibition which challenges our perceptions of the modern day silversmith and illustrates the intellectual and practical design process involved in the making of innovative, design-led contemporary silver.

Twelve stunning, yet contrasting silver vessels form the core of the exhibition, each made by a different leading British silversmith. The participating silversmiths namely Vladimir Böhm, David Clarke, Rebecca de Quin, Sarah Denny, Alistair McCallum, Grant McCaig, Hector Miller, Peter Musson, Theresa Nguyen, Michael Rowe, Toby Russell and Lucian Taylor were chosen as they embody differing philosophies and approaches to their craft and demonstrate interesting, diverse making processes.

More info here : http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/exhibitions-promotions/exhibitions/

Dale Devereux Barker Exhibition

16 - 28 July
"enamels and assorted friends "


40A High Street
Suffolk IP18 6AE
01502 723 211


Get there if you can ! check out more of Dale's fabulous enamels !

Joan MacKarell - Enamel Courses at West Dene

Joan Mackarell is an enameller and maker of smallwork and jewellery. She has taught at London Metropolitan University and is a founder-member of the British Society of Enamellers.
Joan is teaching courses at West Dean College through the year from July 2011 - May 2012

Enamelled sculpture for the garden
Suitable for all • 23 – 29 July • £597 (incl all dinners)
SS22096 summer school

Work with enamel and metal on a larger scale on the theme of ‘fantastical flora and fauna for display in a garden’. The first day is spent making enamel samples developing colour, texture and pattern using non- traditional techniques. On the second day you develop complex three dimensional forms in copper sheet with Mike Savage in the Forge. After you have chosen your final design you will be able to spend time in either area as required and should complete at least one finished piece short courses.

This is a link to some pictures that were taken at last year's summer school with images of the sculpture course as well as some other courses.

EnamellIng on precIous metals
25 – 28 November • £281 • LW2401
11 – 14 May 2012 • £281 • LW2687
Create personal designs in coloured enamels on silver. Designed for those with some experience of working with precious metals, you will enhance your work with the expert tuition in the techniques of cloisonné, champlevé, plique-à-jour and the use of foils.

West Dean College runs an imaginative programme of inspiring short courses in art, craft, music, photography, creative writing and gardening. Courses take place in well-equipped workshops and studios and in the magnificent West Dean House, where students may stay if they book a residential option.

These courses are included in the Short Course Programme. To see the full programme, please contact the College on the details below. For the full programme and booking details please contact:

West Dean College, West Dean, Chichester,
West Sussex, PO18 0QZ
T 0844 4994408 F +44 (0)1243 811343
E short.courses@westdean.org.uk
W www.westdean.org.uk/college
charity reg no. 1126084


The fees listed overleaf are the non-residential fees and include course tuition, lunch, tea and coffee and the use of all the College facilities. Accommodation fees include breakfast and dinner. Standard and Superior rooms are available on a single and double occupancy basis. See table of fees in our full programme or visit www.westdean.org.uk to download a fees table and a booking form.

Why not stay an extra night before or after your course and explore all that West Dean has to offer or bring a friend on a residential-only basis?

Course Deposits and Cancellation Protection Course Deposits from £95 (per place) or full cost of course if less than £95 Cancellation protection from £9 (per place)
If you pay in full online you will receive a 5% discount for courses.

Visit to Collect 2011 - Ruth Ball

My visit Collect was a great chance to get a feel for the latest happenings in design and get an overview of current practice. There is so much to see in a show of this type it’s overwhelming, a real visual overload, but never the less a great experience. It’s a privilege to see the work of so many national and international makers in the prestigious surroundings of the Sattchi Gallery. A perfect venue to showcase the diversity of our contemporary applied arts.

It would be impossible to review every piece and get a sense of each gallery on exhibition, so here in this report I will just highlight a few of my favourites.

My local gallery, The Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool, had a strong presence as one of the first displays in the show. The emphasis of their presentation was on the work of makers that centred their work on a radical theme. Their represented artists looked towards contemporary political issues in all their diversity including sexual politics, animal rights, warfare and current affairs, all quite intense subject matters. The work is further profiled in a follow on show at the gallery in Liverpool in the 'Collect(ed)' exhibition at the Display Centre. Artists featured included Stephen Bird, Michael Brennand-Wood, Stephen Dixon, Emma Rodgers and Paul Scott, with much of the work shown being newly commissioned for the Collect exhibition. The ethos of the work exhibited runs in tandem with the Liverpool “City of Radicals” theme which is a varied discourse in to examining and trying to identify just what - and who - is radical at the start of the 21st Century.

This approach seems refreshing to me as I think that it’s a move away from the examination of shape, colour and minimalist forms that have been a focus of late. It’s a reminder that the content of the work, why we do it and the message, is a key factor.

For more information check out http://www.bluecoatdisplaycentre.com/exhibitions&post=419 and http://www.cityofradicals.co.uk/events/view/events/956

The Bluecoat Display Centre Stand

The next gallery to leave an impression on me was Galerie Marzee, which is the largest of the galleries in the Netherlands, and apparently according to their website the largest gallery for modern jewellery in the world. Their display was mostly contained in large anthological style cabinets with draws that could be opened by the viewer. They had a lot of work to absorb and I confess that didn’t take a lot of it in but I did enjoy the childlike experience of opening the draws of their cases to discover the work of their selected artist. I delighted in finding a collection of Ramon Puig Cuyas Brooches, items I’ve much admired from the pages of books, nice to see them for real.

They didn’t allow photographs but I recommend a visit to their website.


Steffen Dam Glass Sculpture www.joannabirdpottery.com

My favourite work of the show was not enamel but the work of the glass artist, Steffen Dam, who was represented by Joanna Bird Pottery. My fondness these stunning pieces are led mostly by the admiration of how he has portrayed his subject matter. I’m really fascinated by microscopic forms, it’s a subject I want to return to in my own work, and I love the play on science and art. Above all these pieces are also just exquisite, really jaw dropping. It is said that work is a success when it works on several levels. It has to have an emotional response; it has to be something that you care about. It should stand out and have a presence and mean something. I guess be it should also be technically competent. This work has technicality in spades, but it does not overplay the work. It’s amusing to find from the catalogue that in part the inspiration for these pieces were borne out of finding the beauty in experimentation and making mistakes, as they appear flawless. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and for me they were a certainly a sight to behold. I found them very covetable - they are on my lottery list for sure!

Helen Carnac Wall Piece – Lesley Craze Stand www.lesleycrazegallery.co.uk

Working along the list of galleries Lesley Craze was a stopping point. There I spied the work of Vladimir Bohm and Helen Carnac. Helen Carnac showed her signature bowls and had some hung enamel on steel plates. I was particularly drawn to her wall piece, which was a feat of mark making in pencil, paint and enamels, worked together in potent sheet of layered imagery. The value in the action of the work and its drawn elements are exemplary. CAA also represented Vladimir’s work. His strong blackened forms and use of red enamel I found earthy and organic. I like the raw dynamic of his recent work and I’m also pleased to note that Vladimir is also included in the next Goldsmiths Hall Exhibition “Mindful of Silver”.

Enamel Vessels - Naoki Takeyama www.yufuku.net

The work of Naoki Takeyama, profiled by The Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo was another head turner. The pieces are fairly large and elegantly rendered.

It’s a bit anal to try and work out how something is made in a show like this, but I enjoyed the simplicy of how he overcame the issue of how to deal with a joint on his larger vessel by making it a feature. Conversely, in his is crimped vessels I couldn’t work out a join and decided to think it better anyway that some things remain a mystery. ( Though, there is some technical description in Issue 81 of Craft Art International if like me you cannot help yourself and want to try and fathom the work out.)

His application of small perfectly placed foils to create the mesmerising patterns add further awe to the mastery of technique. However it is on learning the translation of the titles to the work I was brought back to the meaning and aesthetic of the pieces. They carry such names as “Devotion”, “Ephemeral” and “A Thousand Years”, thus a reminder of the dialogue within the enamel. For me the work was also a parallel in the ideal of perfection expressed in Japanese Enamel Ware, deftly joined with a key pointer to the modernity of looks akin to “Op Art” artists such as Bridget Riley.

In terms of how enamel was used there were other indicators of very innovative practice in several gallery displays.

I was captivated by the cosmos like droplets of enamel suspended in the works of Italian Jeweller Giovanni Corvaja, displayed by the Adrian Sassoon Gallery, who also had some handsome pieces by Jacqueline Ryan. The tiny particles of fired enamel in his works cling to ultra fine wires woven and inter bound in gossamer like fashion. The random placing of colours combine with the mathematical precision in the construction of the jewels. The enamel is an adjunct to the work but also very much part of it. They are not just fine jewels, but as is the case with contemporary adornment, they are sculptures in miniature. You could well imagine them working on a much larger scale.

Giovanni Corvaja - Adrian Sassoon Gallery www.adriansassoon.com

Alternatives from Rome hosted displays by two other Italian enamellers, Giovanni Sicuro and Graziano Visintin. As is Giovanni Corvaja, both artists are from the famous Pauda School, each use enamel as a surface that adds to the eloquence of their work. Their pieces are wearable conceptualised jewels in fine metals, but the enamel is employed in roughly worked technique to express a rawness in the qualities of the materials used. I particularly liked one of the pieces by Visintin who artistically married 18ct gold with blackened red opaque enamel that was textured and not smooth. It was applied directly to the surface of the metal and not fired into a recess. It seemed liberating.

Brooch - Graziano Visitin - Image scanned from Alternatives Promotional card.



At Gallery Ra I really enjoyed the work of Bettina Speckner.

View www.galerie-ra.nl and more images here http://www.bettina-speckner.com/40983.html

The techniques listed in her photographic pieces are described as Ferrotypes or as Enamel photos, and some are noted as photo etchings in zinc. Her fine art representation of the narrative is evocative. The treasured imagery combines with collaged found elements set into the works. You are led into the pictures to try and discover meaning. They give the sense of a time past and allude to the art of memento and commemoration. I left wanting to know more about the stories behind the jewels, which reminded me again that it was important to have more than an aesthetic agenda.

Bettina Speckman – Image scanned from Gallery Ra promotional card

Gallery Lousie Smit had several pieces by Ralph Bakker. I took interest in the recent book about his collection and the neckpiece that promoted the solo show, hosted by the gallery in March. A stunning piece, which demonstrates an observation to the “white enamel paradox” * that has been witnessed in recent contemporary enamelling exhibitions.

* Ref to Isabelle Busnell Blog http://thinkingthroughthings.blogspot.com/2011/03/contemporary-enamel-paradox.html

Information about Ralph Bakker http://www.ralphbakker.nl/web/mentaliteit.php

Gallery Louise Smit website http://www.louisesmit.nl

Ralph Bakker - Neckpiece – scanned image from Gallery Louise Smit promotional card

Having mentioned opaque colour renditions and the all white phenomena, it is also good to report that richness and subtly of colour was still evident throughout the galleries, not just in enamel but also within the practice of other makers. Fine examples were represented by The Scottish Gallery and Bishopsland showing pieces of Jane Short's beautiful work.

“Court Cup” for The Goldsmiths Company - Jane Short - Image from Collect catalogue

As ever, you can see house styles and the elements of trends but I came away with the impression of a lively and diverse world. My big reward visually came at the end of the show as I discovered the Project Space area, where along the full wall of the gallery I found the vivid “Chromatic Landscape” by Lubna Choudray and Ptolemy Mann, a collaboration work hung as a large scale intuitive response to colour. The impact of this piece was just fabulous. You didn’t need to intellectualise about it all, merely just drink in the colours and admire the view. It was a great finale to a very thought-provoking day.

Ceramics by Lubna Choudry (pictured sitting on bench) and Textiles by Ptolemy Mann