On view February 10-April 28, 2024

Due to the use of similar materials and processes, enamels share a close relationship with ceramics. Rather than working on clay surfaces, enamellists work on metal, creating everything from functional jewelry and dinnerware to wall-mounted panels. The pigments used in the process of enameling, known as enamels, behave similarly to ceramic glazes. Made up of mineral pigments and a glassy powder called frit, enamels can be painted as a liquid or sifted and sprinkled onto a surface while dry. The enameled metal is then placed in a kiln at temperatures ranging from 1400°F to 1650°F. After cooling, artists often add and fire additional layers of enamel, which creates seductive, jewel-like surfaces.

The Everson Museum houses a significant collection of enamels by artists like Ellamarie and Jackson Wooley, June Schwarcz, and Edward H. Winter, and several leading ceramists like Gertrud and Otto Natzler and Carleton Ball also worked in enamel. Many venues that showed ceramics also championed enamels, including the Everson’s Ceramic National exhibitions. After waning in popularity in the mid-20th century, enamels are experiencing a comeback thanks to new technologies and the proliferation of community studios and makerspaces that provide shared equipment and knowledge.