Penny Gildea trained at the School of Jewellery as a mature student specialising in engraving and diamond mounting.
She now works in Stratford upon Avon as an enameller making jewellery, small objects, whistles and miniature landscape pictures.
The techniques that she uses are traditional ones. After the metal work has been completed and the enamel prepared, the two materials – glass and metal – are fused in a kiln at high temperature. It is the combination of transparent glass and textured metal that give her work excitement and subtlety.
Her work has been exhibited internationally and throughout the UK.
As Penny says “While I was taking a part time diploma in jewellery design, I decided to explore enamelling techniques as a means to enhance my work. This was many years ago and since then enamelling has become an obsession and occupies much of my time and thoughts.
Line, shape and function are very important in my work, but I think that colour or the use of it is the most dominant aspect. When working on precious metal I use transparent and translucent enamels because these enamels can be blended and combined to create endless possibilities and remind me of watercolours.
The passage of light through many layers shows off the qualities of polished and textured precious metal better than any other technique or treatment. It is this playful quality of enamel that I try to bring to my work.”