The Eyes of Modernism: Cleveland Enamellists
Ohio is an ideal site for this installation as it is part of the “Enamel Belt” of the U.S. It is home to industrial enamel manufacturers, such as the Ferro Corporation, and has a rich history tied to enamellists in academia at Kent State University and the Cleveland Institute of Art. In a recent article in Metalsmith magazine, Cleveland was called “the most important center for enameling it the United States. ”
The Cleveland Institute of Art is the only institution that offers enameling as a major, separate and apart from the jewelry/ metals program.
This work directly addresses the historical significance of Cleveland as a center for enamellists of the 20th & 21st centuries I have begun to catalogue the history of mid-20th century enamellists through photographs of the artists; specifically their eyes.
The eyes in exhibition belong to:
Mary Ellen McDermott
John Paul Miller
Thelma Fraiser Winter
The pattern on the wall is a physical representation of the sound of sifting enamel. I record myself while working in my studio and then feed the sounds into a computer program called Sonogram. Sonogram is a sound visualization program that was originally developed for speech recognition. This software analyzes the sounds and creates a series of visual depictions of what the sound looks like. I then take one of those depictions to determine the placement of the elements on the wall.