I attended a school for goldsmiths in Norway and worked as an apprentice for a total of 3 years before going for my exams in filigree work in 1983. The one year at the goldsmith school in Oslo, (the capital where I also was born and raised), we were very briefly introduced to enamel. Our teacher showed some slides he had received from Kristin Andersen (Kristinworks) living in Wisconsin, USA.
I knew right away that this was something for me, and I got her address. Upon completing my education one year later I sent her photos of my filigree work and asked if I could come and work in her studio.
At 24 years old, I went on my first trip to the US, although I have dual citizenship, Norwegian and American. (My mother is American.)
Kristin taught me about champlevé enameling technique, wet-packing, which I have been doing ever since. Most of the metal-smithing I knew how to do. Shortly I started making her designs for sale, and I also helped her at different art fairs. She introduced me to SNAG, and I became a member for 20 years.
Back to Oslo I started working in my own right as a jeweler in my mother’s ceramics room. Two of the books that helped me at the time were “Enamels, Enamelling, Enamelists” by G. Matthews, and a book on butterflies from around the world. As I was looking at photos of butterflies in the book I got a great idea for earrings shaped as a butterfly wing.
I sold many of these handmade ear-rings to the art and jewellery-shops in Oslo, among them Norway Design and David Andersen. David Andersen, Norway’s largest jewellery manufacturer and store, sent me straight to their factory as they were interested in the design for mass production. After making them on and off for 20 years, I find it hard to make them anymore, I have too many new design ideas I prefer to make instead.
I needed a better and steady income and more experience, so I got a job at a jeweller factory, Lars Harsheim A/S in Oslo, making diamond jewellery in yellow and white gold. I stayed there for 3 years, a very good experience.
I felt like a change. I had just got my drivers license, and drove a small Volkswagen 1800 miles to my new employer, Juhl’s Silver Gallery of Kautokeino. Juhls produced cast and handmade silver jewellery. Since there were not many new techniques for me to learn there I decided to move on after about 4 months.
In the cold of winter in 1989, I packed my bags and drove to a mountain village in the middle of Norway and there I started my first business; my own workshop/outlet.
I started making my butterfly earrings and new designs, as well as making jewellery on commission for the people of the small community, Vingelen, with just 450 inhabitants.
I added to my income by selling to different jewellery shops and galleries, by exhibitions, having a stall at art fairs in the surrounding area, and by doing repairs of all kinds of jewellery. But I could just make ends meet.
After about 5 years I moved my business to the closest town, Tynset, with a population of 5500, but it is a trading centre for a surrounding area of 30,000 people. I still combined workshop and sales in the same premises, and business went quite well.
I entered and was invited to exhibitions locally and nationally, and at an art-festival in Finland where I sold some. During this time I met Kai Findahl who is my husband today, he is working at a theatre as a technician, with sets, props and lighting, and he is an artist in the fields of music and painting.
After giving birth to our two sons, Carl and Fredrik, now 10 and 9, I had a 2 year break from my work, since the infants made my life too busy for anything else.
I moved my workshop to our house where it still is. The room is 12 by 12 feet, on the loft, with wood paneling on the floor, ceiling and walls, one big window overlooking a pine forest. It has a sink, workbench, my tools, enamelling kiln, supplies, shelves with my many books on enamelling and jewellery. The room is a little too little for me, but it is very practical to have the tools and enamels in the same room.
As the children grew older I decided to open a gallery with retail sales at Tynset, called Galleri Duo. This was my only outlet during this time. My jewelry got more experimental, sculptural, larger and to some extent more expensive. This was not a commercial success, and whilst waiting for people to enter the shop I missed my workshop. We decided to close the gallery in May last year (2005).
The base of all my jewelry is produced out of silver sheets and wires. During the last 6 years I have created a lot of jewelry with opaque enamels, as on big sculptural rings set with large synthetic or real stones with details in 14 carat gold.
My pre-work sketches are usually very rough, mainly to remember an idea. When I start on a piece I often draw directly on the metal.
There is no enameling group in Norway, but I would like to contact the few enamelists I know and maybe we could get together. In the future I am planning to hold classes in enameling; I have already spoken with the Norwegian Goldsmith Society and a dealer in enamel/goldsmith supplies and the feed-back regarding a future co-operation was very promising.
I am hoping to establish my own domain on the web, as of now I use a free page from Yahoo to show photographs of my jewellery. http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ceciliehveding/my photos
For those to contact me my e-mail address is: email@example.com