|ARTISAN: Barbara Nolen
BUSINESS: Enamel on Copper
MEMBER SINCE: 1978
The Greeks in the 5th century BC were probably the first to fuse enamel to metal in the form we know it today. Enamels are merely glass, available in powder form, and these vitreous enamels must be fused to the metal at temperatures between 1300 and 1550 degrees F. It is possible to enamel on gold, silver, bronze, iron, brass, or aluminum, but copper is by far the most commonly used because it is reasonably priced and provides pleasing results.
Barbara’s love affair with this medium began over 40 years ago at an enamelling workshop in Montreal, when she became fascinated by this unique interplay of metal, brilliant colour, glass, and fire. After studying in Montreal, and at Algonquin College in Ottawa, she eventually (in the eighties) taught courses herself at City of Ottawa Senior Centers, and also the Gloucester Craftsmens Guild (now Ottawa Artisans Guild).
Barbara’s work includes whimsical pins in the shape of animals, birds etc, pendants and earrings, larger plates, and framed plaques depicting mostly nature scenes, especially trees. She also has a popular line of silk and polyester scarves with matching enamel earrings.
After inheriting some unique antique costume jewellery and adding some inspiring finds from travels abroad, Barbara added a fun line of Vintage Treasures “recycled” jewellery.
As one of the longest-standing members of the Guild, Barbara has attended meetings and participated in at least one market every year since 1978.