The College of Art, which is located in the heart of the capital city of India, is one of the best colleges in India, and offers various courses in Visual Arts e.g. painting, print-making, sculpture, mural, photography, applied art, ceramics etc.
The college organizes several programmes/activities for students at national level and among those a major event is ‘Samhita’, the national students seminar-cum-workshop for post-graduate level students. It was organized in the college campus for five days from 8th to 12th of November 2005. The main aim of the seminar is to expose the students to new mediums & inventions in the fields of art, media & design and exchange their thoughts.
This year main attraction of the seminar was the workshop of Enameling on Copper. In this workshop 20 students from 15 different art colleges and around 40 students from the college itself learned enameling. It was the first interaction with this medium for most of the students.
One big and two small kilns were installed in the open terrace of the college campus where most of the visitors, college staff and students could see the process live. It was instant attraction to see and experience the process of enameling for the students & teachers and also for non-teaching staff of the college. It was a very gratifying experience.
During five days students were introduced the basic techniques of enameling e.g. wet packing, sgraffito, stenciling, sifting, etc. on copper with flux and industrial enamels.
After introduction of the basic techniques in the first two days they just used their own creative ideas to get desirable effect. They were not interested in following the technique all the time. Their curiosity was to experiment without any technical restriction. Their questions were always “What will happen if I apply this color over that or after that?” And I think this is the stage where we should give them freedom to get the answer of the question themselves and develop their own imagery.
We started the workshop with small size copper pieces (3″ x 3″) to experiment. When they were comfortable with the medium they worked on big pieces (7″ x 10″). Most of them used sgraffito technique because it is the easiest and most gratifying for beginners.
During the workshop some eminent artists visited the college and they were very pleasantly surprised to see such an enameling workshop first time in the college. A. Ramachandran, Gopi Gajwani, Aprana Cour, Anjali Ela Menon (Eminent artists). Anjali Ela Menon made an enamel piece in the workshop.
At the end of the workshop we had an exhibition of the work done during the workshop. It was a very good experience to teach and interact with very charged young creative minds. Not only was I able to share my experiences with them but also learn from them.
In our endeavor to have enameling accepted and recognized as another medium of art, we have taken yet another step forward. We, the Enamelist Society of India, have been given the assurance that the College of Art will set up a fully equipped studio within the next few months! Another feather in our cap?! We sincerely hope so!