The art of copper painting

Hanson Howard Gallery, 82 N. Main St., Ashland is hosting an exhibit of copper paintings by Rogue Valley artist Marie Maretska.

Known for her large copper paintings, Maretska took a sabbatical to explore new media.

"Very shortly I became fascinated with fusing glass to copper (vitreous enameling).

"This led to studying with four master enamelists. I then struck out on my own to discover how to enamel in a format on copper that is larger than historically done. Because this is an unusual art form it was necessary to design many of my hand tools.

"I am very grateful to have received two grants, one from The William T. Colville Foundation and one from a private donor, that helped immensely in purchasing a kiln and grinder."

Vitreous enamel is glass bonded to metal with high heat. In the process if enameling five to twenty layers of finely ground glass are sifted on to copper. Each layer is heated in a kiln at 1500 degrees.

When removed the molten enamel cools to a thin film of glass that has fused to the metal. Successive firings of enamel create an unusual depth of color and light refraction.

Some of the new work has a sculptural quality which was achieved by hammering the copper into shapes.

For more information about the exhibit, call 488-2562.

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