Linda Connelly, Enamel Artist and Jeweller
July 10, 2020
I work with enamel which is the art of fusing glass to metal. This is done in a kiln over multiple firings, although each firing only lasts a minute or two in a kiln at around 800-1000 degrees C. I am really fortunate because my studio is at my home so I have been able to continue working. Usually I divide my time between making, gallery duties and teaching weekly classes in Enamelling and Jewellery Making. For now, everything is closed which gives me more time to create. To begin with it was so hard to feel motivated to make the work I usually do without any foreseeable prospect to sell in my usual outlets.
However, I was lucky in that inspiration came to me for lots of new ideas, so I have been experimenting and developing new lines. In April I lost my mother which has caused me to try to remember happy times in the past. Out of this trauma I have developed new work inspired by visits to the seaside and to botanical gardens such as Kew and Wesley. These are all places I associate with a feeling of peace, tranquility, and happy days.
I have also been working to refine and further develop my skills. Thus, I have been doing lots of engraving and experimenting with making different forms and designs for pendants and earrings. I have started making teaching videos, which have led to some online business training and have set up an online shop, something I never thought I would do.
It has been a difficult time as well as a surprisingly peaceful time with both my husband and adult son working from home, so we have family lunches on the patio when the weather is sunny. I have started to play the clarinet again and have been doing an online ballet class. Thus, out of all the pain and trauma I hope to have something positive to celebrate when all this passes. To keep moving forward seems to me to be an essential ingredient to getting through these times, along with being nice to myself so concentrating on new things I want to try to develop new ideas rather than making my usual items that I know will sell. Each day I try to accomplish something, however small. Some days are productive and other less so but in these testing times that is fine. I just try and find a little peace and happiness every day.