For years I have admired Anne Havel's work. Her soft colors combined with the texture she achieved with sgraffito technique always caught my eye. I could not believe that she was scheduled to teach near me (4 hours or so) and a week I could go. My hot little fingers were pushing the computer keys months and months in advance of the class and was lucky enough to be one of 8 in this class.
First let me tell you a little about The Folk School, or the other name John C. Campbell. This school teaches all the Southern Heritage crafts like blacksmithing, paper arts, woodworking, dyeing fabrics, quilting, storytelling, jewelry and enamel plus so much more. If you want to immerse yourself in an art for a week without the outside world interfering, then treat yourself here.
Now to the good stuff. Anne's class was centered around liquid enamel and adding lines.
Lines through sgraffito, lines with graphite, lines with cat whiskers and more. She shared and answered any questions. Questions about torches, kilns, different style settings and more.
But, and oh, what a wonderful thing..... we enameled, we enameled, with the torch, we enameled with the kiln, with acrylic enamels, with liquid enamels, with sifted enamels. We overfiring, we separation enamel, with crackle (thank you Paul Roche; resident at JCCFS). We etched the enamel, we stoned, we burned out organic materials; if it wasn't nailed down we enameled it.
In most of my work, I use bold colors so transparent enamel (Anne's love) was intriguing to me. I didn't know the results I would get, it was scary and exciting.
I made new friends, played with enamels, rested, walked along the wildflowers and meandering paths of the school. New doors were opened.
So... go out, think and try new things, push yourself in a different direction. I did and I am glad!