UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 24 AUGUST 2023
The centuries-old practice of enamelling has been radically reimagined thanks to a PhD researcher at Birmingham City University (BCU) - The project and resulting enamel works will be permanently displayed in the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) collections.
Dr Yinglong Li, who recently completed his PhD at BCU’s School of Jewellery, has developed an innovative approach to enamel construction that disrupts the cellular structure of enamel pieces.
To demonstrate his new enamelling technique, Yinglong created a bespoke three-piece vase collection that attracted the attention of the V&A.
“One of the curators at the V&A identified my work and got in touch after I gave a virtual talk on enamel in Hong Kong. I later presented my work to the museum and they were keen to include it in their collections, which is a huge honour,” he said.
Yinglong developed his innovative project using hand-crafted traditional methods and cutting-edge digital technology.
Dr Ann-Marie Carey, Associate Professor at BCU’s School of Jewellery and Yinglong’s PhD supervisor believes his research could be hugely impactful.
The research has also won acclaim from Fred Rich, one of the UK’s foremost enamellists.
The name Yinglong has given to his research project, ‘MIND THE GAP’ was inspired by a trip on the London Underground.
“I was using the tube during a visit to London and kept seeing and hearing ‘MIND THE GAP’ everywhere,” he explained. “It reminded me of how I was breaking enamel cells apart in my research and leaving a ’gap’ between the pieces, so it felt like a good name to give the project.”
Yinglong’s passion for enamel-based discovery will continue despite the completion of his research, he now hopes to refine his technique further and explore ways this new form of enamelling can be used.