06 October 2011

welcome to your first stop

barbara lewis of painting with fire generously invited me to host a stop on her virtual book tour...  there will be 16 days of people sharing all kinds of information about barbara and torch-fired enameling... if that doesn't have you racing for the book, i don't know what will... 

so let's get to it - 

if you have purchased the tutorial (which got me started in may of 2010) or own the book (which is a must if you want to take the technique further) you will know that often enameling is done so that it covers the whole bead or component.... this is a gorgeous effect, but it doesn't have to be done that way... 

'i found i could say things with color and shapes
that i couldn't say any other way - 
things i had no words for.'
~ georgia o'keeffe

this is how i feel about enamel... it allows me to add my own color - the way i want to apply it, where i want to apply it... in my work, color is sparingly used for emotional impact... 

leaves - mjdodd 2011

with hints of red or green...

landscape of the sky - mjdodd 2011

with layers of opaque and transparent enamel... 

and this week i set enameled metal into a bezel, the way i would a stone... i am beyond thrilled with the possibilities present for this use... 

cold connection bezel - mjdodd 2011

there really are so many applications - and i look forward to finding more... i think the most important thing for you to take away from this is the realization that enamel can be used to reflect your aesthetic... (and did i mention that it is affordable and quite easy to do?)

in addition to everything you want to know about torch-firing enamel, barbara shares all kinds of tips and tricks... this is truthfully one of my favorite parts of the great books... those tried and true hard learned things that we all work through... this book is one of the ones i refer to often - for information and inspiration... 

during the book tour, there will be prizes given - 

i would personally like to offer a pair of earrings similar to 'landscape of the sky'... i will draw a winner for them at the end of the day from those who comment on this post... 

but there is much more... 

first, here is the list of hosts for you to follow:

October 6, Mary Jane Dodd, www.mairedodd.blogspot.com
October 7, Gaea Cannaday, www.gaeabeads.blogspot.com
October 8, Linda Larsen, www.objectsandelements.typepad.com
October 10, Andrew Thornton, www.andrew-thornton.blogspot.com
October 11, Lori Plyler, www.waterstonejewelry.blogspot.com
October 12, Diane Cook, www.rosa-josies.blogspot.com
October 13, Lori Anderson, http://www.prettythingsblog.com
October 14, LeAnn Weih, www.summersstudio.blogspot.com
October 15, Jen Judd Velasquez, www.jenjuddrocks.blogspot.com
October 17, Melissa Meman, www.melissameman.blogspot.com
October 18, Lisa Crone, www.abeadaday.blogspot.com
October 19, Shannon LeVart, www.missficklemediacom.blogspot.com
October 20, Cindy Wimmer, www.sweetbeadstudio.com
October 21, Laura Twiford, www.souvenirsfromlife.blogspot.com
October 22, Erin Prais-Hintz, www.treasures-found.blogspot.com
October 24, Jennifer Cameron, www.glassaddictions.com

October 25, Sharilyn Miller, http://sharilynmiller.blogspot.com/

barbara has set up these rules to play along:

"We'll have prizes throughout the book tour plus a grand prize at the end! The more you spread the excitement, the more chances you have to win some of the goodies our bloggers are giving away!

Leave a comment at your host's blog and become a follower = 1 chance.

Tweet, facebook or blog about the giveaway and leave a comment at this post (the original Virtual Book Tour post)  = 1 additional chance.

While you're at my blog (barbara's), if you become a follower or say that you're already a follower in your comment = 1 additional chance.

So, you can earn up to three chances per giveaway.  A winner will be selected by 10 p.m. eastern time and be announced the following day. You can check back at my(barbara's) blog for the name of the winner or at any other of the participating blogs.

To thank you for following along, we will have a BONUS PRIZE at the end of the book tour!  All of the entries will be included in the drawing for a kit containing all the elements of "Floral Cascade," one of the projects in the book! You'll receive everything you need to make the necklace, including the chain, jump rings, clasp, enamel beads, and head pins!  

But that's not all!

For a chance to win the Grand Prize - a Torch-Firing Kit (or $110 shopping experience at www.paintingwithfireartwear.com) - please leave a review at Amazon.com by November 24.  Remember, leave an honest review... the book must stand on its own.

Thanks for playing along! This is going to be a lot of fun!

P.S. Unfortunately, we have to restrict the giveaways to U.S. residents.  Winners should contact me with their name and address through my author website:
www.torchfiredenameljewelry.com so that you can receive your prizes!"

thank you, barbara, for allowing me to share my experience with enamel and to participate in your first book tour! i am personally so grateful that you shared this technique (and am certain i speak for so many others) - you are helping to spread around a lot of beauty... i wish you only continued success...


  1. What a great place to begin the tour...
    Beautiful work as always =)) Anyone would love to own these earrings MJ. The subtle hint of color was added with calculated care .....xo

  2. As a host i can't be included but I wanted to comment on your beautiful work! The no solder bezels is what i will be showcasing as well and like you, the ideas are just flowing! It really is an exciting medium! Great start to the tour.

  3. Your work is beautiful -- I've got the book and can't wait to try out this technique.

  4. Great, and beautiful pieces, as usual! Getting to the end of a big list and then I'll start another list and you're at the top.... I'll be in touch soon.

  5. Beautiful pieces! I can't wait to get the book. I am a follower.

  6. Mary Jane, I think your work exemplifies some of the best in enamel. You've kept true to your love of metal while adding color as an accent. Just beautiful! Thank you for starting off the tour!

  7. So, in addition to your work always being so beautiful, I learned something new today. I didn't know how pretty it could look with just a touch of enamel. Thanks so much for sharing that. I am also a follower.

  8. I didn't know you could add just a little. This would be the biggest venture for me but I am so in love with the colors and process!

  9. Mary Jane, I'm so excited about this blog tour. Your pieces are beautiful, and I love that you use color in small amounts for emotional impact. And that bezel is just fantastic!

  10. As we've come to expect, you have your own unique and stunning method of using the enamel technique. I love the subtlety of the enameled "cabochon". I would love to win the earrings! Thanks for kicking off this virtual tour!

  11. The way you've translated the techniques that Barbara provides is really wonderful Maire! It's an excellent visual!

  12. Oh Mary Jane..these are all so beautiful...I think the small amount of enamel on each one speaks volumes....I am so excited to visit each and every post.Hugs,Cat

  13. You have me running to my studio to experiment with enamels! I want to create pieces that are as beautiful as yours. Thank you, to you and Barbara for this inspiration!
    I am a follower. : )

    I LOVE the book!

  14. Your jewelry is stunning! Like the others have said, it is sooo pretty with just a touch of enamel. I can't wait to get to my torch. : )

  15. I love those leaves. Everything is stunning.

  16. You bring just the right amount of colour to these pieces to make the metal work in harmony with the rest of the elements. Love your new bezel!

  17. love the earrings and what a fantastic idea to add a metal bead in your bezel design. I just took Barb's class in Portland Art & Soul and what a delight! Thank you for being such an inspiring host.

  18. I love your take on enameling. Those leaves and earrings are beautiful!

  19. After seeing the beautiful results of this technique, I am very excited to learn more about it.

  20. Love the leaves and the bezel! I always admire your work! You made it sound and look easy, even for me!

  21. How wonderful that you've found a way to use enamel within your own aesthetic.

    It's a beautiful treatment.

    Warm regards,


  22. These leaves are amazing and these earrings are gorgeous!
    I'm a long time follower...

  23. Your creations are gorgeous! I just got Barbara's book- I need to get the enamel kit now! SMILE!

  24. Love the partially enameled earrings and the no-solder bezels (and pretty much everything else, too. I think it's time for some more time spent in the little studio.

  25. Oh, and I just became a follower (and I had been reading your blog before), the giveaway was just an incentive. :-)

  26. I love the work you've created with these techniques. Just beautiful things! I'd love to win anything you made! HA! I'm a follower, too. Thanks!

  27. I love your work. The bits of color are fabulous touches! Thank you for this generous giveaway. I have added you to my google reader!

  28. Wow! I love your enamel work! I took Barbra's Painting with Fire class last week , and I own her book, and highly recomend both! torch enameling is so much fun! I am a follower of your blog

  29. I adore how you use enamel. It's original, effective, and shows the beauty of both glass and metal, which I LOVE because I'm a sucker for both. Thank you for sharing how you use enamel.

  30. I have been waiting for cooler weather to get back to my experimenting with torch-fired enamel. Now, I need to purchase Barbara's new book. I'm excited!
    I love the way you have used enameling on your pieces. They are great.

  31. I love those earrings. This book tour is going to be a great inspiration. I have the book and it looks like now is the time to start it.
    I'm a follower:)

  32. Your pieces are really beautiful. I am a follower of your blog already.
    I got the book. I got the kit. I got to get started!!

  33. thank you for participating in this very cool idea...and thank you for sharing your lovely work. I have the book, and can't wait to really get going. This virtual tour will give me a gentle nudge. :-)

  34. Mary Jane, you are the perfect first stop on this book tour! Your work really showcases one of the may paths one can take with enameling - and it is truly YOUR own individual style. I love the way you apply a minimal amount of color to metal - a really stunning effect.

  35. Your pieces made my tummy tingle they resonate so much with me. So organic, so beautiful. I am loving Barbara's book and her generous heart. And now yours as well! I am so fortunate and inspired, whether I win anything "tangible" or not. Thank you. ~ Mo

  36. Beautiful work! I love those gorgeous leaves and the enamel adds the perfect accent! Your work is so inspiring! Thank you!

  37. I love your technique with enamel, I love how it just can be so subtle and elegant, your work is amazing!

  38. Your work is beautiful and inspiring! Thank you!

  39. you are visually taunting me with the copper and blue enamel earrings. ah the torture!

  40. I almost missed it, just got home from work! I am a follower and thanks for sharing such cool ideas with us.
    Shannon C

  41. Wonderful site. And this virtual book tour is a fun idea

  42. The cold connection bezel is fantastic!!!!! You genius!

  43. R- you already know there are not enough hours in the day-week-month-year and yet you just go ahead and tempt us to do even more!!!! Lovely - and could be such a creative way to add the magic highlights as MJD does. Thanks for the temptation. B

  44. Hi Mary Jane! Such beautiful projects! The enamel really draws you in! Your leaves are yummy!

  45. Boy I gotta say, I just really love your work, those earrings and those leaves are just spectacular! I started the book tour a day late but I'm so glad I checked in here and we'll be back soon to follow your work. Sooooo jealous of the person that won them.....;)

  46. All beautiful pieces! I can't wait to get the book. I am a follower.

  47. I guess I missed your review in time for the giveaway, but I enjoyed your review anyway. Will probably have to check out this book for myself. :) Thanks


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