Brian Johnson was trained as an art teacher and has taught painting, photography and history of art for a number of years.
From 1976 to 1996 he was principal of the Frank Joubert Art Centre in Newlands. Here he taught painting, history of art, and photography. He also taught photography part time at Cedar House, an independent school in Kenilworth.
In 1989 he was awarded a D.Litt et Phil degree from UNISA for his thesis on the architecture of Sir Herbert Baker.
Enamel has been used for about 4000 years to decorate metal. It has been done on gold, silver, bronze, or (as in this case) on copper. The designs are applied by hand either by painting or in-laying with powdered glass. Engraving, wire inlay (cloisonné) or silver foil is used in different ways for effect. The result is fired in a kiln or by torch.
During the 1970’s enamelling was a popular craft even here in South Africa and the materials were stocked by a number of the craft shops throughout the country. But like macramé, and jewellery made out of epoxy clay, it faded out. Brian had acquired some powders and a stove-top kiln, and made a few enamel cufflinks and earrings.
There matters rested until Margaret Fairhurst established an enameller’s guild in the 1980’s, and for ten years promoted the art, taught interested amateurs and generally kept interest alive. Brian became secretary of the guild, but eventually even this initiative failed to spark a revival of the craft in South Africa. The materials were not being stocked locally and equipment was difficult to find – as is still the case.
Enamelling is taught at some tertiary institutions as part of jewellery design and there are a number of very skilled practitioners of the craft in this industry in the Cape Town area. Brian has developed the art of enamelling more particularly as a pictorial medium.
Brian has sold work in galleries in the UK and to local collectors.
Artist: BRIAN JOHNSON
Title: In a world of one colour (Matsuo Basho)
Size: 12 x 10 cm
Price: R 4 550 Framed
Gallery hours: Mon to Fri: 9h30 to 17h00, Sat: 10h00 to 14h00
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Reliable arrangements can be made to freight purchases to foreign destinations.
60 CHURCH STREET CAPE TOWN 8001, TEL: +27 21 4235309, FAX: +27 21 4249063