enamel art | silk art | felt art | ceramics | other media


Diane Seiler

Diane Seiler has been drawing since she was two. She graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, in 1978, and has since worked with many materials, including paint, ink, glass and clay, before settling happily into fiber and (most recently) enameled hollowware and jewelry focals.

"It's all about the color," she tells people. "I live in New England, which spends November through February in shades of grey, taupe, and washed-out blue. Dying natural fibers (such as silk) and making clothing gives me vivid colors to play with when it's dreary outside. Enamel is even better, because the metal reflects light through the transparent glass, especially in bright light, and the colors shift as the angle of the piece changes.

"Enameling is a very old art form. Byzantium, medieval Europe, and early Ireland all had beautiful enamel work. They used it for jewelry, plates, chalices... We think knowledge of enameling travelled the Silk Road to China and Japan from Europe.

"It's not a good medium for people who want tight control over the results; part of the pleasure of enameling is seeing what the colors look like as you layer them - they're different each time, and sometimes they don't do what you expect. It's high in instant gratification, though - each firing only takes about two minutes. On the other hand, one piece can take months to make, because you may fire it 20 or 30 times, and you have to think about what you're doing each time you add more enamel."

Diane forms most of her own pieces, alternately annealing and hammering the copper, before enameling them. "It's a great release for tension and frustration!"

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