enamelsview all enamels
My works consist of one-of-a-kind enamel jewelry, made of fine silver, gold leaf, and copper.
Enameling is my passion and the culmination of a succession of art forms that I have practiced throughout my creative life.
My art has always focused on the line. Lines – whether ink, paint or silver cloisonné wires – have found their natural path on paper, canvas, and metals, articulating my thoughts and visions.
I am inspired by a wide range of sources including Armenian medieval manuscripts, nature and contemporary art objects. I now live in Haiti, where a vibrant culture – very different from my own Armenian heritage – has inspired me to embrace more color, light and character in my works.
I am completely absorbed by the successive transformation of my enamel pieces, each step and firing marked by a tweak of the ‘unexpected’ hue or shade.
The process itself, whether laying down the cloisonné wires or waiting in front of the kiln, allows me to meditate and connect with a certain alchemic magic.
My work is characterized by a highly polished finish – allowing my colors, shades and foil to play with the light, and provide a tactile feel that is unique to this form of jewelry.
Jewelry (cloisonné enamel)
Painting (oil, water colors)
Mixed media (collages)
Education & Training
Florida Society of Goldsmiths, Enameling Workshop with Linda Darty New Smyrna, Florida January 2015
Ia Gigoshivili, Enameling Workshop Tbilisi, Georgia October 2010
Liberal Arts University, Department of Cultural Studies Yerevan, Armenia 1996 – 1998
National Center for Fine Arts, Department of Fine Arts, Graphics and Ceramics Yerevan,Armenia 1984 – 1994
“Frame of reference” workshop with Paulette Werger at Metalwerx, Boston, MA
Cloisonné enameling is an ancient metalwork technique that makes use of small, precious metal filaments and colourful glass enamels to create brilliant artwork.
Enamels have long been used to decorate the surface of metal objects, perhaps originally as a substitute for the more costly process of inlaying with precious or semiprecious stones but later as a decorative medium in their own right. Whereas paint on metal has a short life and, even when new, is overshadowed by the brilliance of the polished metal, enameling gives the surface of metal a durable, coloured, decorative finish.
With the painted enamels of the Renaissance and the portrait miniatures of the 17th century, the technique reached its most ambitious and artistic form, in which the craftsman attempted to create a version of an oil painting, using a metal sheet instead of a canvas and enamels instead of oil paints.
The artist first chooses the metal to be used as the base for the work, either copper, silver or gold. Silver wires are bent into shapes to create small cells (partitions) of designs called cloisons. This design – and each small silver compartment – is carefully placed on the metal base. The artist begins to apply a layer of finely ground glass enamel, which is then fired. The artist repeats this process up to twelve times, each firing adding to the work’s thickness and each firing altering what was previously visible. When the painted enamel layer reaches just above the height of the silver cloisons, the artist begins to polish the piece, using progressively finer sandpaper, until the work reaches its desired lustre.
The Enamelist Society
Florida Society of Goldsmiths
Enamel Guild North East