Use Separation Enamel to make unique jewelry and bowl forms that blossom with flowing, contrasting layers of brilliant color!  Learn from the foremost authority and a true expert in this technique on how to achieve these unusual effects in a 2-day, hands-on workshop.



Who should take this course

Anyone age 18 or older with basic art enameling experience (such as taking our Intro I course) who wants to learn how to achieve unusual effects made possible with Separation Enamel products and processes.

What you will learn

Using Separation Enamel can produce beautiful and varied results – including some of the most eye-catching, unusual, even unexpected results in enameling – but only if you understand both the product and the process for using it properly.  Tom Ellis, after many years of experimentation has learned what materials work in separation, the sequence in which the materials are put together and important application and firing procedures.  These are the keys to successful results.  In this workshop you will learn some of the different approaches Tom has developed in the last 40 years to make beautiful separation art and jewelry.

Students will use Separation Enamel on at least one bowl form and one jewelry shape.  More items may be made as workshop time allows.

We will teach you:

  • How to use a holding agent to apply enamel on a curved surface
  • How to choose which types and colors of enamel suitable for use with Separation Enamel
  • How to get an even enamel application on a curved surface
  • How the Separation Enamel works to create a multi-colored design
  • How to get different results by varying thickness of enamel layers, thickness of Separation Enamel, and contrast between the colors of enamel layers
  • How to mix and apply an enamel pattern
  • How to create different designs while using Separation Enamel
  • How to use gravity and variations in firing time and temperature to affect the results
  • How Separation Enamel works differently on a flat vs. a curved surface
  • How to decide time and temperature ranges for firing different types of materials using Separation Enamel
  • How to create a “foot” for your bowl
  • How to finish your project
  • An overview of the huge variety of effects possible with Separation Enamel and an introduction to how some of them can be done
  • Examples of Separation Enamel from the Carpenter Art Enamel Museum
  • How to use thin copper and coat both sides of a piece for the first fire

What’s included

During this two-day workshop you will receive instruction, handouts, demonstrations, hands-on practice, some individual guidance as needed, and time to complete two or three projects.

Costs include all materials and supplies.  In addition, you will get:

  • Access to over 169 different enamels for use during the workshop
  • Use of the extensive Foundation equipment, furnaces, and tools needed to complete your project
  • On-site access to one of the few retail stores in the US offering enamel and enamel supplies
  • Exposure and inspiration during our breaks from hundreds of beautiful ancient and modern enamel pieces in our world-class art enamel museum, the largest diverse collection of art enamels in the world

What’s so special about Separation Enamel

Separation Enamel is an accessory enamel product that has been available for decades but has seen increasing use in recent years as hobbyists and artists discover the amazing results that can be achieved by using it.  It can be used in a variety of ways on different media to produce soft or bold contrasting, multi-color designs that are difficult or impossible to achieve in any other way.

The process of using it involves layering contrasting colors, one on top of the other.  Once the layers are in place, the Separation Enamel product is applied by brush to create a pattern.  When the separation is fired, it gets dissolved into the underlying enamel.  This changes the viscosity of the enamel, spreading the layers apart with a slight surface indentation where the Separation Enamel is applied.  Your painted pattern seems to blossom with firing by exposing slight edges of each layer of the design.  (See pictures in this section.)

Why use the Separation Enamel approach?  The process and product can be used by itself or in combination with other approaches to produce a beautiful enameled design. Few techniques produce such stunning results on curved surfaces such as a steep-sided bowl.

About the Instructor

Our renowned instructor

Tom Ellis is our Chief Workshop Instructor and a true expert – he has 45 years of experience with enameling! Tom is an excellent artist and teacher, but his experience is especially deep in the process and techniques of enameling. For many years, he has served as a technical consultant to the only manufacturer of vitreous enamel in the Western hemisphere. He understands the enamel products in great depth, how and why they work, how to use them in combinations, and how to solve problems when you don’t get the result you expected. Frankly, we know of no one else in the world with this type of experience and knowledge.

Here is what some past participants have said about Tom:

“Tom Ellis is an excellent teacher, and I learned more from him in two days than I had in a semester at other schools….” Sheila S., Wilmette, IL

“The hands-on experience added to the expertise of the Instructor, and his willingness to answer questions is invaluable.”

“Excellent instruction, enjoyable projects…one of the best workshops for any medium I have ever attended.” Karen, Heber Springs, AR

“Tom is a great teacher, very patient and funny. Easy to understand.”

Tom Ellis, Our Renowned Instructor

Where it will be held

The workshop will be held at the Carpenter Art Enamel Foundation headquarters at 645 Colfax Avenue in Bellevue, KY, right across the river from Cincinnati. We are about ten minutes from downtown Cincinnati, but in an area of northern Kentucky that has less traffic and is a bit easier to navigate than the big city. Although our headquarters is housed in one of the largest facilities in the world dedicated to art enameling, we enjoy being a part of the small river community of Bellevue on the “south bank” of the Ohio River. In fact, the mayor is on our Board of Directors.

We are tucked away in a small, quiet industrial park off Berry Avenue. You will find plenty of parking alongside our building and in a large gravel lot in front of the industrial building next door. For a map and more information, <CLICK HERE>.

How you should prepare for the course

We recommend you bring patterned line drawings or pictures of potential ideas for a Separation Enamel piece.  You may want to search online for ideas and design inspiration.   We will discuss how you choose the ones most appropriate for this process.  In addition, Tom will provide some specific design options for you to follow.

Please do not wear sandals, open-toed shoes, scarves or other clothing with tassels or loose ends that could get caught in tools or equipment.

How to save the cost of this workshop

Young and old of various economic means attend our workshops. All are welcome! If you want to save money, we can help. Of course, you will want to start by becoming a Premium Member and saving 15% off the cost of the workshop <CLICK HERE>.

Travel will be the biggest part of your cost unless you live close by. Cincinnati is one of the lowest-cost metropolitan areas to visit, but we can help you get the cost even lower! See this resource page for money-saving travel information that could help you save the entire cost of the workshop, maybe even more: <CLICK HERE>. If you don’t have a car when you are in town, we might even be able to give you a ride from a nearby hotel.

In addition, you may want to stay a few days extra days to enjoy some of the world-class attractions that the Cincinnati area offers (in addition to our workshops!). We have listed some of our favorite places here: <CLICK HERE>

Cancellation Policy

If cancelled within 30 days of the workshop, no refunds are issued.  If cancelled more than 30 days prior to the workshop, a refund (less a $60 service fee) may be issued if the workshop is fully booked, not including your registration.

If you qualify for a refund, you may apply the total amount to a future workshop conducted in the next 12 months (service fee waived).

Registrations are not transferable.

Class Registration Policy

The Foundation reserves the right to cancel any workshop due to insufficient enrollment and will notify students of any cancellation at least three weeks prior to the start of the workshop. In the event that WWCEF (The Foundation) cancels a workshop the student will receive a full refund.

The Foundation cannot be responsible for airline tickets or other travel costs in the event of a cancellation.

Safety Procedures Policy

The Foundation is committed to the safety of all students. A series of informational safety procedures have been established for all studio areas that involve some risk of injury in the use of certain equipment. Your instructor will go over safety procedures during your workshop but we would also like for you to be aware of your workshop’s risks before you register for a workshop. As a condition of registration we ask that you read the ‘Safety Procedures Policy’ and acknowledge that you have done so upon registration.

Release of Liability

The Foundation makes every effort to ensure students have a safe and meaningful experience while participating in our activities. However, some aspects of work done at The Foundation can involve a certain amount of risk. Work is done with hot equipment i.e. furnaces, kilns and torches. To safeguard The Foundation we ask students to release The Foundation from liability and voluntarily take on the assumption of risk. As a condition of registration we ask that you read the ‘Release of Liability and Voluntary Assumption of Risk’ and acknowledge that you have done so upon registration.

Registration Agreement

By clicking ‘Buy Now’ you acknowledge that you have read and understand the terms above including the ‘Safety Procedures Policy’ and ‘Release of Liability and Voluntary Assumption of Risk’.

This website has a secure website payment system. You will receive a confirmation email after payment.

You also have the option of calling us and paying by check or credit card. A $35 fee will be charged for cancelled checks. Call 859-291-5901 and ask for Tom.

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