On January 27th, CWRU graduate students and faculty joined Cleveland Museum of Art curators and conservators at the Cleveland Institute of Art to learn about champlevé enamel from Cleveland-based contemporary jeweler and enamelist Ariella Har-Even firsthand. This initiative was coordinated by Ariella and Reed O’Mara, a PhD candidate in medieval art, who founded the collaboration Fuse: Museum to Studio Connections, which seeks to better connect artists and art historians through shared experiences and programming. Hands-on workshops like these create opportunities for art historians to learn about the historic crafting processes they often research and to connect with contemporary artists.
In the workshop, participants learned wet-packing techniques for creating small enameled plaques and had the chance to fire their pieces using a kiln, to grind the enamels using an alundum stone, and to clean firescale using nitric acid. Designs were chosen from medieval manuscripts, including the Notebook of Villard de Honnecourt, the Tripartite Mahzor, and the Aberdeen Bestiary.
You can learn more about Fuse from their Instagram page, @fuse.msc!