I have been an artist in enamelling for nine years. In 1999, I took a specialist jewellery course with completely different techniques. The goldsmith conducting the course showed me a beautiful Russian powder compact with a blue champlevé enamel. I wanted to collect more information on enamelling, but it turned out to be unusually difficult. I couldn’t find any professional literature, no teacher in enamelling or even enamels themselves.
I spent a few years searching for knowledge and enamels. As a result, I learned the art of enamelling on my own using, among others, the periodical Glass-on-Metal. I have been a subscriber of it since 2002. In 2006, l had an exceptional opportunity of learning in Barcelona, at CIDAE, from Dr. Nuria Lopez Ribalta and professor Andreu Vilasis ze Escola Superior de Disseny and d’Art Llotja. Both are true masters in enamelling and fantastic teachers. Dr. Ribalta answered my questions in detail and gave me valuable advice, which I still rely on today. While in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to see the enameling museum in Salou and its unique enamel collection, making my time in Barcelona truly valuable.
I am a jewellery designer. I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Lódz with distinction at the Department of Textiles and Clothes specializing in designing jewellery.
I value enamels for colour purity, brightness and permanence with the passing of time. The difficulty of enamel technique is balanced by its potential. Combining various techniques, traditional through experimental, working in 2-D and 3-D, developing the surface of the metal, and working with enamel allow unlimited results.
At the beginning, my favourite technique was champlevé enamel, later cloisonn6 and plique-a-jour, currently I am enameling miniatures. I have been working with it for over two years and have to admit that it is the most difficult of techniques. It is time-consuming and very demanding. I am convinced that there is great potential in this technique. During this period, I changed methods of painting many times and know that I would like to paint the next miniatures differently. I would like to use my goldsmith knowledge and abilities and introduce a different work climate.
Goldsmith projects, like miniatures, are a result of observation, perceiving interesting accents, they are based on associations and sets of colours. I like abstract works, mobile, using dynamic compositions having an accent. I prefer combining many techniques, like precious metals, stones and enamels. My inspiration is contemporary architecture and technology. However, in miniatures I am closest to realism and Italian renaissance. Because I am still learning the technique of miniatures, I often paint copies of portraits. I find the works of Renoir and Mary Cassatt’s children’s portraits very inspiring. I think that my miniatures change, the process of changing techniques and painting style is ongoing. The first works are completely different from those at the moment. I am at the stage of searching for my own style and perfecting my technique. In the future, I would like to concentrate more on painting miniatures and not designing jewellery, and introduce new ideas to this technique. The lack of time is my biggest problem and significantly slows down searching for new methods. I would like to extend my education in the near future.
I begin every piece from a sketched project and later choose a few versions to work on. I always do colourful projects by hand, as well as in a graphic program e .g. CorelDraw. I make the metal base on my own, by hand or I use a computer program. The sketch is a very important stage of realisation and I pay great attention to it.
I have a large and very bright studio. It is divided into a few zones intended for various works: a separate zone for enamels, an area for grinding and polishing and a separate area for designing. I store enamels in easily accessible cupboards. I sell enamel miniatures in galleries or paint them for individual orders. Also, I am secretary of the Association of Polish Miniature Painters.
I do not teach enamelling due to a lack of time, I simply give advice. I often say to those interested that enamelling is not a secret knowledge but a workshop. It requires great labour input and creativity. In Poland there aren’t many enamellers, I myself know only two goldsmith enamellers. The growing interest in enamelling art is optimistic, as is the increasing number of people turning for advice.
I have taken part in about 30 jewellery exhibitions in many countries: Poland, Japan, Holland, Germany, Portugal, Lithuania, Estonia, Great Britain, Italy. In 2009, I exhibited at “International Handwerksmesse-Handwerk & Design,” Munich and Flottman-Hallen, Herne; “Silver Festival,” Legnica and “Gold Creations” Gallery of Contemporary Art, Wloclawek and in the Regional Museum in Torun. Next year, there will be a collective exhibition of miniatures in the Historical Museum in Warsaw, where my enamel miniatures will also be presented.
My works are in the collections of the Museum voor vlakglas- en emaillekunst, Ravenstein, Holland and in private collections in France, Japan, Poland and Indonesia.
They are published in the book “Mutual Influence – Wechsewirkungen,” Lódz, Poland, Herne, Germany and in “500 Enamelled Objects” Lark Books, New York/London, USA. A few times in periodicals “Polski Jubiler” [Polish Jeweller] “Zegarki i Bizuteria” [Watches and Jewellery] published in Poland, as well as published in Glass-on-Metal in the USA and catalogues of exhibitions.