Layers, Lines and Color Values: Exploratory Painterly Techniques with Gabrielle Castonguay

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Evolve your basic enameling practices with this journey into advanced enamel on metal artistry. In this workshop you will advance your knowledge of enameling, but in a painterly fashion to create images. You will be surprised at the endless possibilities enamel can offer when it comes to imagery making and you will be delighted by the freedom it will bring to your art pieces. Using different media we will explore how two-dimensional images can be brought to life using, among other things, watercolor enamel, overglazed enamel, and sifting enamel. We will learn how to incorporate silver foil to create exquisite highlights. Knowledge of basic enameling is necessary to make the most of this course.

Master enamelist Gabrielle Castonguay will show you how to paint with fire in this master class. Use enamels to render abstract and figurative designs in brilliant jewel colors. Gabrielle’s specialty is rendering painterly effects in enamel and she will share her tips and tricks with students:

“My art is searching for remarkable textures, degrees of luster, coloration and oxidization to produce inimitable effects, creating extended contrasts. My creations emerge from universes of colors, transparencies, and opaques, from depth and light. The glass, the metal and the fire, mined from the depths of the earth, inspire me to create pieces where the atmosphere and the imagery reveal traces of art thousands of years old, perfected and sustained in time where our passage on earth reveals a sense of the sacred.” - Gabrielle Castonguay


Techniques taught:
• Layering opaque and transparent enamels
 with multiple kiln firings
• Watercolor enamels

• Using graphite enamels
• Over glazed enamels
• Integrating silver foil into enamels


A kit of materials is included with this class.

A handout is included with the class. A pdf of the handout is sent to students before the first day of class.

Tools for this Class

This is a list of tools online students need to practice the techniques shown in class.

A list of tools with links to recommended suppliers for the best prices will be sent to you after registration If you have questions about the tool list, please contact us.

  • Basic enamel tools for the kiln- Fork, long tweezers, trivets (assorted sizes), screens for placing trivets on and tile
  • Kiln for firing enamel
  • Kiln glasses for eye protection
  • Sifters- med./small 80 mesh, 150 mesh and 200 mesh
  • Small artist brushes of various sizes
  • Various clean tools to make marks, needles, pen, plastic comb, sponges etc.
  • A good dust mask
  • Tracing paper or sketchbook and colored pencils (optional)
  • Towel and or apron
  • Watercolor tray (plastic or ceramic palette) or a few plastic spoons
  • Glossy magazine pages
  • Alundum stone
  • Saw Frame and saw blades 3/0 (If you do not know how to saw, you have the option of having us cut up your metal for the class)
  • Thompson P-1- Overglaze black
  • A plastic container for using the alundum stone - 6” x 4” is a good size
  • Citric pickle

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


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

Images courtesy of : Joe LaFlex and Linda Hernandez


Previous experience with kiln or torch enameling recommended, like successful completion of Enameling 1. Previous experience with sawing and filing is recommended, but if you can't saw there are alternative ways to cut your metal for this project. 


Gabrielle Castonguay (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.