A Welsh Enameler in Hackney

Buddug Wyn Humphreys moved to London from North Wales to study jewellery and silversmithing at London Guildhall University (now known as London Metropolitan University). While studying, she was introduced to enamel through her passion for metal. Enamel turned out to be the perfect combination: the lightness and cheapness of metal combined with the fact that she could envision her work in 3D meant no limit to her creativity.

After having graduated, she joined forces with a friend who happened to be Welsh too. Together, they had a market stall in Broadway Market. Being open to any opportunity to show her work, she took part in many a trade fair (Pulse, Top Drawer) and festivals across the country. One thing led to another and before too long, Buddug and her friend opened a shop on Columbia Road, J & B The Shop. That was 7 years ago!

From market antiques to library books, Buddug finds inspiration in all manner of things. Everywhere she goes, she carries along a scrapbook where she collects bits and bobs, and a notebook where she writes down all her ideas and thoughts. That way she never runs out of ideas! She has a fascination for flowers and plants that probably comes from her rural upbringing. As for her love of carving words, it may well go back to a great-grandfather’s wood carving of an old Bible saying in her parents’ home and, incidentally, a father who’s a master of fonts and typography. One thing is sure, once she made the discovery in college that she could carve on metal, the combination of words and metal carving were endless, especially in jewellery.

She draws and makes collages for inspiration and then cuts and hammers copper into different shapes and adds layers of enamel to the metal before firing it in her little kiln at 750C. While still hot, she carves words and designs into the enamel itself. It is amazing how quickly the firing fuses the metal and enamel and each time the joy of discovering the unique piece is renewed.

Buddug’s workshop is located on the river banks in Hackney. Hackney feels like a home with a definite creative pulse. Buddug finds it easier to work at night when everything is quiet around. She sometimes puts the radio on but silence helps her focus on her creations. When she needs a break or to clear her mind, she heads for the V&A Museum of Childhood or stops by her friend’s scrumptious cupcake shop Violet Cakes, and more often than not, she ends up at Broadway Market where there is a cornucopia of things to see and eat. But when she really needs a change of mood, she travels to Walthamstow to the William Morris Gallery where she may end up taking residence like so many of her artist friends driven away by the price of housing in up and coming Hackney.

Be sure to visit Buddug’s stand at the upcoming MadeLondon from October 26 to 28, 2012 where you will be able to see the amazing variety of her work. She will be showing everything from carved brooches, spoons, and bell necklaces, to enamel plates and homewares. She will be showing her work along with the Dialogue Collective.

J & B Shop or online
Opening Hours
4.30pm-7.30pm Thursday
12noon-4.30pm Saturday
9am-3pm on Sunday

2 thoughts on “A Welsh Enameler in Hackney

  1. Love this article and the photos of her work are great especially because we can read the quotes the artist has chosen to use in some of her work. (I used one of her quotes on FB it was so good!)

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