13 Oct 2008

Kostas and Klios amazing art work!

Kostas Panaretos & Klio Brenner

This couple met through their love of ceramics, both having extensive education and experience in the field. Together their talents have won them first prize in the "2004 1st European Ceramics Competition" held in Athens, Greece, which included 681 artists and over 2,300 competing works from all over Europe!
Their winning piece now sits for public viewing in the entryway of the city hall building in Maroussi, Athens. Their winning piece was also featured on the front cover of Germany's "New Ceramics" magazine.

Klio Brenner studied in Vern, Switzerland at the "Schule fur Gestaltung" from 1986-1990 and has participated in group and individual exhibitions in both Switzerland and Greece since 1988. In 1996, she and her husband, Kosta Panaretos, won the "First Award of Merit" at the Panhellenic Ceramics Exhibitions in Maroussi, Athens. Kosta studied ceramics at OAED in Athens and also taught his craft to others at the, YWCA, Ceramic School of Municipality of Nikea, and the "Art Studio" in Halkida. Kosta continues to teach at the School of Fine Arts in Athens and is a participating member of the Greek Chamber of Fine Arts.

Together Klio and Kosta have run their own workshop in Glyfada, Athens since 1990. They specialize in an ancient Greek technique called "Terra Sigillata". The pieces are formed using Earthenware clay fired at 1000 ºC and the colors are handmade from the soils of the earth. This difficult, but significant technique is only used today by a small group of ceramists. Their designs are inspired by ancient Greek Cycladic and Minoan sculptures, and are then transformed with the visions and talents of Klio and Kostas into a contemporary version of Greek art.

Terra sigillata

Terra sigillata is a very smooth, lustrous coating of clay which resembles a glaze and is virtually waterproof. The name means "sealed earth" and has been used to refer to the Classical Greek Attic black-figure and red-figure painted pottery.

These days, the name terra sigillata is used to refer to an especially fine coating of clay applied to a ceramic piece.

For centuries the secret of making terra sigillata was lost and only in the middle of this century was the true nature of this material, the technique of its creation and use rediscovered.

The silkiness and shine of terra sigilatta is due to the plate like shape of the clay particles and the use of only the smallest particles. Polishing this surface with your hand or a soft cloth lines up all the clay 'plates' and gives the surface its shine.

Most terra-sigillatas are made by a process of levigation in water which allows the larger particles to settle to the bottom, leaving the very finest, sub micron sized particles in suspension. These very fine particles are siphoned off and become the terra-sigillata.

12 Oct 2008

Introduction to Enameling

What is Vitreous Enamel?

Example of Enamel Vitreous enamel is glass bonded by fusion to a metal surface. The most common glass is a fusion of silica, soda, lime, and a small amount of borax. Though normally transparent, various amounts of opacity can be produced by adding or growing crystals within the glass structure. A wide range of colors are produced by incorporating certain elements, mostly transition metals.

The physical properties of glass can be controlled to permit bonding to most metals, for example: gold, platinum, silver, copper, steel, cast iron, aluminum and titanium.

The word "Enamel" refers to the glass material, as well as to the finished product.

How is it done?

Firing Enamel Enamel (glass) is crushed to a powder somewhat finer than granulated sugar and somewhat coarser than flour. This powder is applied, by one of several methods, to the metal surface. Next, the article is heated to 1000-1600ƒF, either in a preheated furnace, or with a hand-held torch. After 1-1/2 to 10 minutes, the article is removed and allowed to cool to room temperature. Subsequent coats, normally different colors, are applied. Sometimes 10-20 firings are required to bring about the desired results.

What is it's history?

We do not know when or where enameling originated. The earliest known enameled articles are six enameled gold rings discovered in a Mycenaean tomb at Kouklia, Cyprus. The rings date from the thirteenth century B.C.

Example of Enamel

The Greeks were enameling gold jewelry as early as the 5th century B.C. Caesar found the Celtic inhabitants of Britain enameling in the 1st century B.C. During the Byzantine era, 4th through 12th centuries, numerous enamel religious works were made. Fifteenth century artisans in Limoges, France, perfected the use of enamels in a painting technique. The 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and the early decades of the 20th century saw the production of a great volume of luxury and decorative enamels, made in many different centers. Since the last third of the 19th century, both Japan and China have exported an abundance of enamel as cloisonnÈ - the name of the technique.

Starting early in the 19th century, it was realized enamel could be used for utilitarian purposes. First in pots and pans for cooking, then stoves, refrigerators, kitchen sinks, bathtubs, home laundry appliances, architectural panels, etc.