Creative Entrepreneurship

Patty Zachman, Enamelist

Patty's Process

I met Patty Zachman through her husband, Tom, who was one of the very early joiners of Rochester Artisans. He’s a glass artist, now working with fused glass and has also worked with stained glass. Patty is a calligrapher and she loves paper. A lot. Especially delicate handmade paper with inclusions.

She still works on her calligraphy, but a couple of years ago Patty started working with powdered enamel and copper, turning it into lovely jewelry. I was at Tom & Patty’s house over the summer and asked for a tour of their studios, aka, the basement. Panic ensued but they led me downstairs, showed me lots of stuff and answered skillions of questions. I love studio tours – seeing how other artists live!


It was then that I learned what a labor intensive process it is to enamel copper. Each layer is it’s own little project – and Patty is as meticulous as they come!

When I asked her to join the artists selling their works at the Fairport Pharmacy gift shop, I noticed she wrote a nice little bit about her process when submitting the paperwork to me. I’ve posted it on our Facebook page and today decided to share it with customers in the store looking at her work. So I made a sign and placed it near her jewelry, as you can see in the top photo. People like to buy from people they know and like. To know Patty is to like her.

Each piece I make has many layers of enamel and color. I start with a piece of copper which I hand saw, drill, file, sand and thoroughly scrub clean of all dirt and oil.

Then I sift a layer of enamel onto the copper, fire it in a kiln at 1200-1500 degrees F. I let it cool and scrub it again. This process is repeated for every layer of enamel. Both sides of the copper are enameled to give the piece stability and allow the wearer to show either side.


Patty is very shy and I’m pretty sure she’s going to kill me when reads that I wrote an entire blog post about her. But I really want to encourage you to see her work in person in the gift shop at Fairport Pharmacy. She doesn’t do shows so this (plus one other store) are the only places to see her work. I would say all of her jewelry can be worn by men and women. The enameled copper pieces are clean, simple shapes and the depth of color is anything but simple.

The name of her business is FirePaint Studio (I confess, I’m not positive if that should be 2 words or 3!) I hope you enjoy her work.


Comments on: "Patty Zachman, Enamelist" (8)

  1. I love Pats work. I have the necklace with the little houses and the moon. What I love about it is one side is daytime and the other is night so it makes this piece very special.


    • Rochester Artisans said:

      Since you were the first to comment, Sue, I think you’re up next! Shhh…I want it to be a surprise to you!


  2. Congrats, Patty. You know the beauty of glass on metal. Keep up the good work.


  3. Wow…nice article! Clearly, we’re not paying you enough.


  4. Very nice. I always wondered who made the little house necklaces at Fairport Pharmacy! Now I know! I have heard there is a lot involved with enameling, what a great idea to post a sign next to her work!


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