Contemporary Cloisonné with Ruth Ball

Friday, December 1, 2023; 9:00AM - 12:30PM PT (Pacific Time)
Saturday, December 2, 2023; 9:00AM - 12:30PM PT (Pacific Time)
Sunday, December 3, 2023; 9:00AM - 12:30PM PT (Pacific Time)
Friday, December 8, 2023; 9:00AM - 12:30PM PT (Pacific Time)
Saturday, December 9, 2023; 9:00AM - 12:30PM PT (Pacific Time)
Sunday, December 10, 2023; 9:00AM - 12:30PM PT (Pacific Time)


Cost: $695

SOLD OUT! See below for other workshop dates.

Class Photo
Class Photo
Class Photo
Class Photo

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Over the course of two consecutive weekends, join UK enameller Ruth Ball online, to develop designs for contemporary cloisonné enamels.

With the emphasis on individual investigation and a free-form approach, the use of line is explored to discover more dynamic and expressive methods in your work.

Ruth will start by guiding you through simple drawing exercises. The aim is to throw the emphasis on line and mark-making to open up ideas within the boundaries of cloisonné. This art based starting point follows through into demonstrations which will reveal a variety of enamel methods. Starting with a limited colour palette in order to emphasise the wire work, Ruth will follow on to incorporate more complex design ideas, additionally showing how to repeat shapes, apply precious metal foils, and use painted enamel to create highlights.

Q&A sessions and additional conversational discussions on design awareness and aesthetics, will embrace a diverse range of examples from historic and contemporary enamel work, broadening the view of cloisonné as an art form.

In the first weekend of this hands on course, the main focus will be in creating a collection of samples. These will explore the visual qualities of line, through set exercises, thus enabling the enrichment of your design vocabulary in future work. Samples will be made on copper and refined experiments and your final piece can be made in silver. The following weekend participants will consolidate their learning. You will select from your ideas, sketches and experiments to narrow down, evaluate and make a final piece of enamel ready to be set.


Techniques taught include:

  • basic drawing exercises
  • enamel and metal preparation
  • application of enamel
  • working with fine wires – round and rectangular
  • making repeat shapes in wire
  • transferring designs and applying wires
  • applying precious metal foils
  • using painted enamel for highlights
  • using flux over wires
  • stoning enamel back
  • kiln firing
  • problem solving
  • finishing


Read what students have to say about our online classes on the testimonials page.


A kit of materials is included with this class and will be mailed to you.

Tools for this Class

This is a list of tools you’ll need to practice the techniques shown in class. A list of tools with recommended suppliers for the best prices will be sent to you after registration If you have questions about the tool list, please contact us.

  • 8.5” x11” paper, white and black (several sheets of each)
  • Pens – black marker and a white gel pen
  • pencil
  • personal choice of sketching materials and a sketch book
  • 3-5 opaque enamel colors approx. 1 oz each
  • 2-4 transparent enamel colors approx. 1 oz each
  • 2040 Hard Fusing Clear 4oz.
  • A-1 klyr fire
  • water
  • Bench pin
  • Saw frame
  • 4/0 saw blades
  • round nose pliers
  • flat nose pliers
  • X-Acto knife
  • cutting mat
  • pair of fine scissors
  • fine paint brushes for applying klyr fire, enamel, and wires
  • 3/0 brush for fine detail
  • fine nozzle spray bottle
  • Jars or palette for enamels
  • Alundum stone or coarse (red/black) Diapad
  • metal tweezers
  • palette knife
  • safety goggles
  • Dust mask, gloves, apron, and safety personal equipment
  • Kiln such as a Paragon SC2
  • Mesh firing rack
  • Firing fork
  • Trivet
  • Heat protective gloves
  • Heat resistant Ceramic tile for cooling
  • Paper towels
  • Jar for water
  • Jar for enamel run-off
  • Scotchbrite pad
  • Dawn dish detergent
  • Old magazines or glossy pages that can be destroyed
  • 80 mesh sifter SM-2 or similar
  • Glass brush
  • Small Ceramic tile or plate
  • Paint enamels- white, black, blue, plus optional color of your choice
  • A-5 Thinning Oil or A-4 Squeegee Oil

A computer, phone or tablet to use the free Zoom app for class



Knowledge of basic enameling is necessary to make the most of this course. Successful completion of Enameling 1 is recommended or equivalent experience.
Knowledge of kiln enameling recommended.

You must be able to use pliers and bend fine wires. Basic jewelry skills are highly recommended.

This class includes drawing prompts. You do not need to have expert drawing skills, just be able to doodle and have fun!


Ruth Ball (Guest)

If a class is online, or is a combination online and in-person session, all students receive a link to a recording of the class demonstrations. In-person only workshops are not recorded. For staff instructor classes, students have access to the recordings for one year. For guest instructors, access is 30 days. 

If a kit is included with the class, online students will have them mailed to them. Kits for in-person students are delivered at the beginning of the first class. More information about the kit is included with the supplies list which is emailed after registration.

International students may be charged an additional amount for shipping, because of the increased cost to ship abroad. Also, shipments to other countries may incur a tariff payable by the student. International students are welcome to contact us re: these costs and options for their materials. Please be sure that the address with your payment is the correct one for shipping.

If this class is offered online, it uses the Zoom app/website. Through Zoom, you’ll be able to see demos and follow instructions, ask questions and interact with your instructor. Zoom is easy to use and free for students to use for class, and works on most devices, like phones (iPhone, Android, etc), tablets (iPads, etc), and computers (Mac or PC).

Your instructor is also available during free Zoom office hours for questions and help.

For classes that include work time, online students work at home or in their studio. All of our recommended tools and the kit materials are chosen to be home studio friendly. Links to preferred vendors are provided in the supplies list sent after registration. Some classes, like our short demo only classes, don't require tools or materials to attend. 

We remain committed to keeping everyone as safe as possible while continuing to move forward and adapt to the current circumstances for our in person classes and open studios.

We recommend that in person students be vaccinated, but it's not required. 

Face masks are encouraged while at the school, but no longer required. Students must bring a particulate face mask (N95, KN95, KF94 or similar) to protect against dust and particles when needed and required during class work time.

If you have tested positive for COVID, have symptoms that could be COVID, or feel ill, please don't come to class. Contact us for more information. 

And now the fine print. Payment in full for class fees is due at the time of registration to reserve your place. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal. Checks and cash are accepted only if you register at school. If you mail a check, your registration is not processed until it clears and the class may fill during the wait. 

If the workshop is canceled by our school for any reason, all class fees will be refunded, or you can transfer to another class, or you can keep a credit on account with us for future classes or purchases, 

Students can cancel, receive a credit or refund, or transfer to another class up to 21 days before a workshop, whether it is online or in person. No cancellations are accepted after the 21-day deadline, however, we will do what we can to try and sell your place to a qualified student. If we can sell your place, you can receive a refund less a $50 cancellation fee, keep a credit on account with us, or apply your fees towards a transfer to another class. 

If you can’t make it to class, you may send a participant who has the necessary prerequisites in your place. Please call or email us immediately with any changes in the student participant information. If a class includes an online section, your class will be recorded and you can watch later to make up a class you miss. 

Students must be at least 15 years old to attend a class, and students under 18 must have a legal guardian sign our liability waiver form. We have had younger students attend classes, on a case by case basis. If you’re interested in enrolling your child, please call or email us. 

If you sign up for a class and fail to have the required prerequisites as listed in the class description, you are still subject to the 21-day cancellation policy, listed above.

Lodging and meals are not included for in person classes.

If you don't come to class, there are no refunds, credits or transfers.

Upcoming Schedule

No upcoming occurences at this time.