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First creative steps


random orbit


Bromsgrove artist Richard McIlwraith discovers some inspirational enamelled work.

Interact. Rearrange. Manipulate the image. Find the design that most moves you, most resonates with your emotions and most pleases your eye. Christine Harmer’s first large-scale enamelled art aims to help people to take their own “first creative steps”.

The piece, named Random Orbit, comprises a framed magnetic steel board with discs of various sizes on to which intricate enamelled copper shapes have been prudently and precisely applied. The magnetic discs are able to be reordered and turned until the image feels just right for the personal experience of the viewer.

“Many people think they are not creative because they are apprehensive if faced with a blank sheet of paper. My idea was to introduce some design elements to that blank space in order to help people to take their first creative steps,” says Christine.

Christine is open to commissions for similar artworks. I believe Bromsgrove will be an even more beautiful place if more can be created: they carry a sense of deep space, of the infinite and of incalculable geometric charm.

In 2019, Christine also extended her range of handmade nature-based enamelled jewellery. Bees, foxes, red kites, seahorses, feathers and puffins now join the enticing dragonflies, badgers, hedgehogs, sheep, cows and chickens of previous years. They are delightful and enchanting.

At the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, she set up her stall in the Artisan Market at Crafting Live, an event organised by a TV craft channel. A vast throng of enthusiasts visited the show. Many expressed an interest in learning about enamelling. What is enamelling?

“Enamelling is the art of fusing powdered glass to metal at high temperature to create beautiful things,” says Christine.

Her workshops at her studio in Avoncroft Arts Centre, Stoke Heath, are suitable for beginners; however, if students wish to return to try a more advanced project, this is also possible. In an initial session, Christine shows the basics of the craft and participants can put these into practice. Visitors can design and create their own individual piece of work which will be finished and ready to take home after the two-hour session.

For more information about this artist’s work, workshops and events, visit her impressive and informative website –

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