Melbourne woman Debbie Sheezel named among world’s top enamel jewellers

Enamel necklace by Debby SheezelDebbie Sheezel won a prestigious global jewellery accolade, the 2016 Saul Bell Award for enamelling, and he or she is honestly pleased.

Enamelling is an artwork shape relationship back to the time of the historical Egyptians, Greeks, Celts, Chinese language and Japanese.

Finely ground up portions of vitreous enamel, specially formulated ground glass, is blended with colorations that are kiln-fired in thin layers onto treasured metals along with gold and silver.

Ms Sheezel fell in love with the craft as a younger lady whilst she attended a gold and silver smithing elegance with an aunt.

She became now not taking part in herself until a trainer defined what a kiln became used for.

“He said properly in case you take some teeth, that is vitreous powder, and put it on some copper, silver or gold, and he were given a few white and placed on the copper and placed it in the kiln,” she said.

“After a minute he took it out and it changed into white and smooth and it turned into stuck to this lovely copper and I fell in love.

There were no instructors back then. All and sundry had their personal method, even their very own in particular-made tools, and Ms Sheezel taught herself a way to do teeth paintings via reading books.

She has been working in tooth for fifty years and will flip 70 soon.

“I can’t help myself, I ought to keep working,” she said.


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Ms Sheezel continually knew about the Saul Bellow Award for enamelling however did no longer have the confidence to go into.

“I idea ‘oh I do not know if I have been given the self belief to move in for this because I have seen people who have gained it in the past’,” she stated.

“Then I decided I’m getting old, I might better get on and do it.”
Close up of award winning enamel necklace
T took 5 months for Ms Sheezel to design and to make the lovely teeth necklace, valued at $50,000, which ultimately won the pinnacle prize.

It changed into designed within the vein of French glassmaker Lalique, with enamel, 24 and 18 carat gold, first-class silver and semi-treasured stones.

“I like butterflies. I’ve accomplished a variety of butterfly portions. I’m inquisitive about the colours of them, the blending of the colors and so I decided I might go together with a butterfly piece,” she stated.

“There are hundreds and masses of people who move into this competition so I used to be clearly very astounded that I received it.

“I might by no means been in an opposition before so it turned into very exciting.”

Tim Peel, the president of the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia, stated enameling is an uncommon talent that takes a long time to grasp.

“It is extremely complex, the way that she mixes and blends colours specifically,” he said.

“You obviously want a clearly top feel of layout to carry it off, a terrific feel of color, and it calls for a great quantity of persistence.”

The necklace will remain in Ms Sheezel‘s series for now until she unearths a client.

But the marketplace for excessive-cease jewelry is a small one.

“You have to sell your portions otherwise you have a group like this because I don’t sell that many portions,” she stated.

“They’re collector’s portions due to the fact They may be most effective one off. So It is creditors or people who apprehend the splendor of tooth who purchase them.

“I’ve sold a lot of work however I don’t thoughts if I do not sell them. I like searching at them and taking part in them myself.”

Mr Peel stated Australia punches above its weight within the jewellery enterprise and Ms Sheezel is proper up at the pinnacle.

“This is very a lot an example of how Australian craftspeople are up there with the very high-quality within the world,” he stated.

“She’s truely up there with the satisfactory within the world.”