“I’m not a metal worker. For me, the metal is the canvas on which I create images.” So says enamellist Paula Lewis. Neither does the Boiling Springs woman ponder the age-old distinction between what is functional and what is decorative. “Being ‘pretty’ can serve a purpose,” she declares. “Therefore, being ‘pretty’ can be functional.”
“I produce flat pieces,” says Lewis of her work. “They are generally mounted on wood and displayed on walls like paintings. “It’s more fine art than craft.” She uses pre-cut 18-gauge copper. “Since my designs are abstract in nature, the shape of the copper is not that relevant,” she says.
Her first step in producing a piece is to anneal it (fire the raw piece in an emailing kiln) and then plunge it into cold water. She next applies an acid-based cleaner, and then sprays on to the surface a blend of water and Klyr-Fire, an adherent for the powdered enamel. The enamel is then applied with a fine-mesh sifter before the piece is inserted into the kiln. Each time a color is added to the design, Lewis is obliged to prep the surface again with the Klyr-Fire solution before sifting on the new color.
For more information about the artist, visit facebook.com/ScorchedEyebrowStudio.