These gorgeous enamel on copper jewels are truely unique becaue
- their colors are delightful, bright and vivid
- they have unfailing, rich patterns which are drawn into the enamel with hand. Each one them is very beautiful.
She works in an ongoing collaboration with her spouse - he makes the beautiful copper bases and then she enamels them. Together they create filigree enamel on copper jewellery which are unique yet very much wearable and adorable.
Questions and Answers
Tell us a little about yourself! What details would you like to share with our readers?
I've been making enamel jewellery designed and handmade by me since 2003, not long after my spouse, Attila joined in the process, he does the smith part of the job. This is our full time job, apart from this we live a village life with the enthusiasm of people who moved out of town (animals, gardening) which I need for the creative process and to compensate seated work. Besides making jewellery, from spring until Christmas we make time to regularly take part in markets and festivals where the emphasis is not so much on selling our jewellery rather we move our workshop out to the scene so passers-by can try out burnt enamelling right there. After spending a lot of time at home, almost isolated from others, it is always a good feeling to be among people who are very enthusiastic and admire what we do. It is a tiring lifestyle due to the many hours we spend packing but we often live it as a charge-up after receiving the good reviews and being inspired from the art pieces made by children and adults.
How did you end up on this road? Why did you choose this technique?
I grew up as the handcraft-lover child of creative parents who had unique paths on their own so the was no family drama when, despite my excellent graduate, I chose a school of enamelling in Budapest (today its name is Erzsébet Kövessy) rather than the Faculty of Humanities. Since during the career choice I was making wire jewellery, we found the technique and the school after searching for similar "genres" and after visiting the workshop it was a love at first sight with enamel and the two years I spent there only deepened this feeling. I don't know where I'd be now if for example I went to learn to become a goldsmith but I think enamel suits me better because although I am attracted to metals but I am not the person of tenth of milimeters and for me copper is also a precious metal, I also like to use the decorative graphics and sometimes picturesqueness of the many colors and different enamels.
What do you love about it the most? Which moments, activities bring you the most joy?
As a moment, I think I draw up in myself how much I love doing this when a well-made dose of jewellery is just finished and we make the final touches on the pieces although we already see the end result and I might also have time to take some photos... To be exact: the jewels can be seen in their entirety when at the end of the process the until then matte, spotted copper surfaces are polished with a brass disk. We wipe them after and that's when it is said many times: "wow, they are so beautiful again!"
Although, if the question is also regarding the dearest moment in lifestyle: next to the joy of creation it is obviously the freedom, the flexible working hours. This naturally has the backside that it is so flexible that it can be stretched out as long as the dawn before deadlines, this is (the guess the estimated working hours) where we have to develop the most...
Everything in this world is more complicated than an outsider can imagine. Could you tell us an example of your work, what is the difficulty that we outsiders can not even think about?
Most people are surprised by the fact that each layer has to be burnt separately, which in our case means at least 3, although each firing is only 2 minutes long. Many wouldn't think that we cut out the copper pieces, too and even fewer people know how much work is put into the jewels before I place the first layer of enamel on them.
Do you keep any of them to yourself? Do you wear or use your own jewellery?
Mostly the prototypes of new types are left for me, I do not discard them. Many times because these are even more chiselled, more complicated thechnologically than the later pieces where we must pursue easily feasible solutions so that we can offer them at sellable prices. Of course it happens that a jewel type is so experimental that we only make them to orders. Yes I wear quite a lot of them!
This set, too which is the prototype of one of our successful types and I kept it because we didn't make any more of this form in such a complexity (the different colors are divided with compartments, thin copper wire walls) and even a similar version of the bracelet was never made because it is very complicated to make and is fragile. I started to wear it later on when I realized that it matches many of my clothes.
Do you make other things apart from what we sell?
I have made many different kinds of items to order next to the fairly easily sellable jewels. Such were the medals I made for different competitions, pictures, candle holders, also it can be said that we regularly make name plates, house numbers, family crests, and Attila is the braver one when it comes to making these, when we talk about large scale graphics or compositions. There are times though, when I help him with the really fine details, we perfectly complete each other.
What are you the most proud of?
That I never had to look for a different kind of profession, I make a living from what I chose and love to do.
What are your plans? Are there any new ideas in your mind waiting to be manifested?
Funnily in recent years I have been thinking more about new jewel designs than before and yes I have something in mind right now, too. Nowadays a new shape doesn't satisfy me any more rather I crave something extra, a twist in the jewel style, e.g. a jewel that consists variable pieces. I think these more inspired recent years are due to the fact that I'm preparing to be a mother deep within and I have to think of jewellery that needs much less dusty, dirty phrases that is not so time consuming also. Strange as it is when practicality creates inspiration, it works for me but I have to admit that I might never design such a popular piece again as our snail pattern pieces are. I also see that it is quite difficult to think of a new design that is twisty and children-friendly at the same time and it should also have a competitive price so we could say that there are many blind tracks although I don't mind it since it's also part of the creative process.
Do you have favourites in Intuita? Whose works are dearest to your heart and why?
I think it is a natural thing that I'm most interested in my "collegues" newest pieces, I really admire Grafi's filigree enamel hairgrips decorated with graphics and Aba's clever and trendy, copper and brass rings.