Barbara Lewis

Barbara Lewis

About me …

For many of us it takes more than a minute before we find our life’s work. For me, it took 45 years. Armed with a B. A. in Fine Arts from The George Washington University, Washington, DC, I created a home studio where I fired stoneware and porcelain pieces in a gas kiln we lovingly called “Matilda.” On the mornings following each firing, my husband and I would peer through a peephole into the kiln, being careful not to melt the end of our flashlight, to admire the drippy, rich glazes.

All was right in the world until I tore my rotator cuff as a result of loading heavy kiln shelves. During the rehabbing of my shoulder, I saw torch-fired enamel that reminded me of my pottery. All of my knowledge of firing a 40 cu. ft. gas kiln was synthesized to firing a small, portable torch.

Enamel, which is glass on metal, shows the mark of it’s making, with the glass being kissed by the flame. My excitement over my new found expression led to teaching and to authoring “Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: a Workshop in Painting with Fire,” named Best Craft Book of 2011 at Amazon. Book #2 was released in September 2015, along with several DVD’s and online education classes over the past several years.

As a fairly new resident of St. Petersburg, I feel so fortunate to have been steered toward Kenwood, where I have been embraced by a group of energetic artists!

Painting with Fire Studio