From the Artist: Leigh Navarro Introduces Her Show in the Artist Hall, “The Color of Enamel: New Work by Leighelena”

Posted December 2, 2010 in Blog

Leigh Navarro is an enamel artist from Austin, TX, and her first solo show opens this weekend in the Artist Hall. The exhibition, The Color of Enamel: New Work by Leighelena, runs from Dec. 4, 2010 to Jan. 30, 2011, and an opening reception will be held on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 5:30-8:00 PM.

Leigh in her studio.

I am thrilled to be introducing my work at HCCC. Together, my mom, Susan, and I have nearly 60 years of enameling experience. Some years were more “fruitful” than others, but it has been in the forefront or back burner of our lives for years. My mom is an artist and started enameling to incorporate different elements on her wall hangings. Eventually, she made fully enameled wall hangings. Since I was a kid, I enjoyed making jewelry, which I sold at art fairs with my mom. Decades later, we have taken our combined knowledge to create wearable, affordable, and fantastic enamel jewelry!

Leighelena, Small Anemone Wall Piece, glass enamel, copper, steel. Photo by HCCC.

The pieces we have created for this exhibition are a good mix of what is to come and what have been some of our favorite pieces to make over the years. We always want to find interesting vehicles for different types of enamel. I am excited to introduce the Anemone collection. These sculptures are a collaboration among myself, my mom and my partner, Jimmy Sochat. I can’t wait to expand on it in 2011—I have many ideas already!

Leighelena, Medium Anemone Wall Piece, and materials are: glass enamel, copper, steel. Photo by HCCC.

The framed enamel artwork, or Driftwood series, is also the beginning of a new series I will be producing. And the jewelry, ah the jewelry, I have put many great pieces together, some new and some best-sellers. Please take special notice of the leather cuff bracelets, they are my favorite pieces and the most fun to make. I wanted to create a great way to make a bracelet with an attractive piece of enamel. I have developed this look over the last 4 years, and, believe me, it has changed drastically! I take a lot of time and thought in choosing the best and most exciting Italian leathers that I can find to create each look. The end result is an edgy but feminine handcrafted piece of jewelry that will stand the test of time, both mechanically and fashionably.

Each of these pieces is fully designed and crafted by me, in collaboration with my mom, Susan. I hope you love them as much as we do! I look forward to meeting you on Thursday, Dec 9th for the opening!