This page describes how I went about organizing and researching material for the book, which took me two years to complete. I hope you find it interesting and see how it explains how the book was put together.

I wrote the first book after being contacted by the publisher who asked me if I was interested in writing a book on enameling. I had had many technical writing classes when I worked at AT&T Bell Labs in development so I thought - well, this is like writing a term paper for college and I'll just research what I don't already know. And boy did I not know at lot - after all, up to that time, I only really enameled on fine silver creating Cloisonné with mostly transparent colors. I didn't know many enamelists, but the ones I did were helpful in suggesting who should do which projects I thought I would include. That allowed me to make many more contacts and a lot more friends. All good!

I found the publisher for this second edition. At first I thought I would just republish the first book, which they were willing to do. But then I realized that it was over a decade and a half since the first book and not only had so much changed in the field, but I knew a ton more about enameling - I had been teaching for 15 years at a summer art camp after setting up their enameling studio and although I did teach silver Cloisonné, I was teaching about 15 technqiues on copper as well. I ever had a class called Weirdo Enameling for such things as the Eutetic Effect and Separation Enameling.

In my first edition, I had many gallery pages that included enamels from other artists. These were general gallery pages which did not go into the technique of each piece or what supplements were used. The project artists each had a personal gallery page, which could include any of their artwork they choose, at long as at least one was another example of the project technique.

When I started writing this second edition, I thought about this organization and decided that I wanted to illustrate the project techniques and all the variations of each technique, as each artist uses the technique in similar but not necessarily the same way. Ex: when I create a Cloisonné, I use rectangular wire, but others use twisted wire, which necessitates considerations I do not discuss in my project. In addition, I wanted to use photos to illustrate what the text was describing so that it was clearer to the reader as many people are visual learners.

chinese brush painting in enamelSo, the first change I made was to have the project artist personal gallery include only pieces represented by the project (although they could submit pieces for other techniques, too). I added a Variations section after most of the projects and included a Technique Gallery in all. Both the Variations and the Technique Galleries extended the view of that technique by showing how other artists use that technique and in most cases give an explaination on the considerations of creating with that variation. Also keep in mind that you might not like the artist's "artwork" and thus might disregard that technique. But you might like someone else's "artwork" in that technique and thus gain interest in trying it. That was a major reason for me organizing in this way - to extend interest in a way to enamel.

I also wanted to change up some of the projects. A few of the origiinal projects that are not full projects in this edition are included as LTTs (like Raku enameling). In adding new projects, I wanted to reflect new trends in enameling. This includes such topics as enameling on Steel and using the Eutectic effect.

Since childhood, I have been interested in how things are done - that is, in the process. Throughout my life I have taken many different craft classes just to understand the process. This includes Chinese Brush Painting, Gourd Art, Book Making, Marbeling paper and fabric, Wood Carving, Glass Bead Making, Electroforming and more. I could use these again (like doing Chinese Brush Painting designs in my enamels) or not, makes no difference to me. I just like to learn the process.

Keith Lewis Sgaffito through gold leafWhen I put out a call for photos for the book, I looked for two things - did I understand the process of the piece and was there anything unusual about it. I did provide a list of specific things I was looking for, but also said I was looking for unusual enameling artwork. I have been enameling for over 40 years and although I specialize in Cloisonné, I do work in many other techniques. One can never know everything so it's always good to keep looking for the new. I was looking for specific examples of what I knew I wanted to write about, but when I started getting some very unusual things (like Sgraffito through gold leaf by Keith Lewis - see samples at left), I would decide to add them to the book. Many of these turned out to be the Learn The Technique (LTT) mini-projects, which clearly extends the learning provided in the second edition. Thus this edition includes many more learning experiences than the first edition, which was a clear goal of mine.

I also looked at the organization of the chapters. I redid this aspect many times before settling on my current organization (see the TOC). By this structure, I was able to concentrate on a specific aspect of enameling - the material, supplements, how to fire, etc. I paid special attention to the Supplements and Add-ons chapter. I use quite a few extra materials, but found other enamelists to use way more. Some I knew about, but not how to use them or why they were better than something else. I reseached this and attempted to include my findings so that others could benefit from my studies. I am a teacher, after all, and enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge with others. Thus I have unsual add-ons like cat hair, A&D Ointment and mica paints. I also wanted to find out more about aspects of enameling that I was not as familiar with, like liquid enamels. This editon has a lot more on that subject than the first edition.

The first edition has an index, but I considered it lacking. I wanted to make sure this time around the index was useful and tried to figure out all the ways I would search for something and make sure those entries were included. Not only did I do this, but the publisher hired a professional indexer to review my entries and add others and I then had another enamelist (Linds Kaye-Moses) reveiw that. I'm now happy with the index. But I also didn't want the reader to be constantly looking in the index so I includeded a lot of cross references in the text. I am hoping you don't find this distracting, it was put in there to help you! I've had two positive comments on this already, but it might not be to everyone's liking. I will state that it was a lot of work to be sure these were all correct, but I was totally helped by the format the publisher gave me to do my reviews which made this task easier. Thank you technology!

Oh, by the way, I've included a Technology chapter because I recognize its value in all aspects of life, and as my background is computer science, I felt this was an aid to working with enamels. Any new points of interest I find I will add to the link for Technology from the TOC. If you have any, please email me and let me know - there is already a new one on the Apple iPhone built in magnifier, a truly useful tool!

I also wanted to make sure that the Contributors list was in the book. The first edition didn't have room for it, but this time the publisher gave me all the pages I wanted, which I totally appreciate. The book actually has three indices... the general index, the Contriibutor's List and the Index of LTTs, thus making it easier to find material. BTW - everyone who submitted a photo for inclusion got at least one photo in the book. Some that were not needed to supplement the text were used on the general gallery pages. I thank you all!

So, that is how I put the book together. Hope this helps in understanding the organization and rational for how things are presented. Enjoy and Happy Enameling!


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