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    Guillaume.cloisonne beads

3D Enameling: Cloisonné Beads!

In this demonstration-focused virtual workshop, students will acquire essential skills for building up three-dimensional forms by crafting cloisonné beads! Class will start off by first building and then applying enamel onto a copper sphere, with students then learning how to move on to shaping fine silver wires around the 3D forms.

Detailed demonstrations will guide participants through techniques for applying wet enamel to a dimensional form and exploring finishing methods to achieve the smoothest and roundest bead possible. Additionally, participants will learn simple metalsmithing techniques to craft end caps, providing a refined touch to their creations.

Meet the instructor

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French-Canadian artist Aurélie Guillaume plays with the longstanding link between the technique of enamel and the art of storytelling. Where makers from other centuries might have presented religious narratives in their brightly colored objects, Guillaume looks to street art, comics, and other forms of popular culture. In her work, a single character is frozen in the middle of a story that remains hidden from the viewer.

Aurélie Guillaume studied jewelry and metalsmithing at the École de joaillerie de Montréal, and at NSCAD University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Her work is featured in the collections of the Enamel Arts Foundation in Los Angeles, the Museum of Art and Design in New York City, the University of Iowa Museum of art, and the Pureun Culture Foundation in Seoul, South Korea as well as major private collections. Aurélie Guillaume currently lives in Montréal and has been represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h since 2015.

View Aurélie's work on her Instagram account by clicking HERE

Materials & Tools

The following supplies will be used for course demonstrations and objectives. A suggested item and/or vendor has been provided below for reference. Click the vendor name to be redirected to a page where you can view the item. The quantities needed for each item are listed first. If ordering, please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. We recommend not opening an item's packaging until the day of the workshop. Student participation during or in-between class sessions is not required - observers are welcome.


Metal/raw materials (NOTE if students want to make their own spheres, they will need to get their own sheet metal to form them): 

  • 1 min. x RCB-2 copper bead ¾” sphere (Thompson)

  • 10cm min. x sterling tubing - 2.5mm (Rio Grande)

  • 3ft x cloisonné wire - 38g 0.050" x 0.004" (Rio Grande)

  • 4-5 x opaque Thompson enamels - 1oz containers


Torch setup:

  • 1 x fireproof area - steel sheet, tiles, etc. (Amazon or Home Depot)

  • 1 x soldering surface - for spheres or findings (Rio Grande or Rio Grande)

  • 1 x torch - Smith mini, Silversmith, or butane (Rio Grande or Rio Grande)

  • 1 x #0 or #1 torch tip - if getting Silversmith (Rio Grande)

  • 1 x striker or lighter - Silversmith system has one (Rio Grande)

  • 1 x cross lock tweezers (Rio Grande)

  • 1 x copper tongs - for pickle (Rio Grande)

  • 1 x pickle - sodium bisulfate or citric acid (Rio Grande or Amazon)

  • 1 x brass bristle brush (Rio Grande)

  • 1 x crock pot or lidded glass container (Rio Grande or Amazon)

  • 1 x tempered glass container or sink - for quenching and rinsing

  • 1 x small brush - for flux

  • 1 x liquid hand soap - for cleaning metal


Kiln setup:


Hand tools:


Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • hard work surface

  • fan and open window - or ventilation system

  • safety glasses 

  • pencil, fine Sharpie, notebook

  • rags/towels

  • absorbent paper towel

  • containers of water 

  • dust mask


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