Hungarian Enamel Symposiums

The International Enamel Studio, open throughout the year, provides the possibility of experimenting and studying for all those who would like to realize their ideas in the art of enamel. We can support the activity of the artists with self-made enamels, our methods and decades-old experience. The creative work is continuous but besides the artists’ individual work, we organize several symposiums every year. 2007 is famous for the widening of our store with Thompson Enamels. During our symposiums and also besides them, we organized workshops so that artists could get to know Thompson Enamels.

enamel symposiums
The Artists’ Colony of Kecskemét, a 100-year-old traditional Artist’s Camp.

2007 Symposiums

The topic of ancestry was going on from last year and had further, more general perspectives besides the continuous experimenting in enamel art (Siberian and North American Indian analogies). The researcher and editor of this topic is the painter Endre Turi, the art director of our studio. Two new topic were suggested to be elaborated, which were connected with lectures, slide shows and listening to music.

  1. The Knight of Heroic Legend, or a Redundant Human?

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837), one of the geniuses of the works and Russian literature, died 170 years ago. Two pieces of his most famous epic poems are Ruslan and Lyudmila and Eugene Oregin. The former one was inspired by the tales used to listen in his childhood. Magic creatures and events deriving from eastern epic poems were added to this determining experience. The main character o the other poem represents the redundant human type in Russian literature seeking by not finding his role and position in the world. Unfortunately, this human type has become global phenomenon. What could Tatyana, the noble-minded girl in love, tell this man loitering without aims? Can we find Tatyanas in our unmanly world at all?

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  1. In Memoriam – Zoltán Kodály

A double musical anniversary made us celebrate and commemorate respectively this year. Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967), the world famous son of Kesckemét, was born 125 years ago and died 40 years ago. Two pieces of his works, Peacock Variation or Hàry Jànos musical dramas have found the way to the contemporary Hungarian enamel art of Kecskemét (Endre Turi, Júlia Sor, Károly Balanyi). Now there was a further opportunity for national and foreign artists visiting us this summer to use their imagination inspired by the discharged soldier figure who made international grade or by the musical cycle inspired y the folk song ‘The Peacock’.

Our Lady by Endre Turi, Kecskemét, Hungary. Painted enamel on copper, 29.5cm x 18.5cm.

Remarkable works have been created included in the program and besides it. According to the suggestion of the jury, we awarded the prizes mentioned below at the closing exhibition of the 33rd International Enamel Symposium in Kecskemét:

Winner of the grand prize of the National Society of Hungarian Artists – Zsófia Koszta, Hungarian Painter, Budapest.

Winner of the Grand Prize of the General Assembly of County Bács-Kiskun – Marie-Héléne Amilien, French Painter, Nantes.

Winner of the Grand Prize of our studio – Olga Likhovid, Russian Painter, Volgodonsk.

We chose Thompson Enamels because we now have the possibility of full-scale application of the enamel as complex material family with special regard to overglaze methods. We note here that we would like to bring underglaze techniques in focus in 2008, in relation to Endre Turi’s research.

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The Memory of Tears by Marie-Hélène Amilien, Nantes, France. Enameled iron plate, 65cm x 45cm.

We have found that Thompson Enamels are the most suitable materials for renewing the overglaze technique and they match our enamels in some cases.

Our experiences are the following:

  1. It is possible to fire works of art made at higher temperatures (at about 850°C/1562°F) several times (at about 790°C/1454°F). It enriches the enamel and saves the former results.
  2. They can produce soft, picturesque effects and graphic drawings (with acrylic, crayon) on bigger sized enamels.
  3. They help to revive the European traditions of miniature painting. (This program was presented continuously and with high priority in all the teaching methods see below.)
  4. They are well applicable in teaching (crayon, watercolor) because of their simple usage.

Teaching Methods:

  1. Enamel teaching of university students specializing in painting by Pál Tóth, painter (colleague of our studio) in May and September, two times for 10 days, 14 persons involved. They worked at the traditional Artists’ Colony, and included individual and collective ateliers in Kecskemét. Classes were made completely by art history lectures, possibilities of going to theatre and exhibitions.
The Things We Are Talking About by Olga Likhovid, Volgodonsk, Russia. Enameled iron plate, 50cm x 40cm.
  1. Thompson Workshop from September 25 to 27, 2007, 20 persons participated at the Artists’ Colony. During the three days, artists could learn miniature enamel painting and how to use overglaze techniques and materials.
  2. Introducing Thompson Enamels to the participants of the spring, summer and fall symposiums, optionally, in small groups.

This year, two other programs have to be mentioned. We are organizing ‘Small Symposiums’ at our studio from November 19 to 30. From December 11 to 13, we are taking classes called Enamelling at Advent for children, where they can make presents for their parents, sisters and brothers. In the spirit of Advent, we wish all the artists lots of love and more intention to each other.