Who We Are

Art “Enameling” is fusing specially-made glass vitreous enamel onto metal or similar media using intense heat to create something of beauty.  It has been used for over 3,000 years.

We are all about art enameling for everyone!  The Carpenter Art Enamel Foundation is a 501(3)c non-profit organization chartered in the state of Kentucky in 2003 as the W. W. Carpenter Enamel Foundation.  We recently changed our name in 2018 to better reflect our mission.

Our mission is to teach, support, and inspire the creation and use of enameled art and jewelry by hobbyists, artists, students, and educators worldwide.

History

Our current building was completed in 2006 and includes over 11,000 square feet of space including studio and classroom space, offices, a store, a huge museum, and a library.  (We hope you will visit.)  We conduct workshops, classes, tours, sell enameling supplies, and provide online support to the enamelist community.  Since 2018 we have been in the process of significantly expanding our programs and level of support.

Our Founder, Woodrow Carpenter

“Woody” Carpenter had a long history of working with enamel that began in the 1930’s until his death in 2017 at 101 years old.  His reach was international, with personal contacts in Europe, Australia, India, and the far east.  He was a true pioneer in the field, developing and refining lead-free enamels as early as the 1950’s.  They are now the standard for all educational institutions and most artists.

He bought Thompson Enamel in 1980 and moved it to the Cincinnati area, where their leaded enamels were replaced with the lead-free varieties he developed.  Thompson Enamel is the only manufacturer of jewelry enamel in the Western Hemisphere and is still located in Bellevue, KY (Cincinnati area) next to the Foundation.  The Carpenter Art Enamel Foundation (a non-profit educational organization) and Thompson Enamel, Inc. (a for-profit manufacturer) are independently owned and operated.  (But we recommend their enamel!)

Woodrow Carpenter was well known among enamelers all over the world, collecting art enamel worldwide (almost all of it now displayed in our Museum), teaching, writing, creating, and promoting the use of enamel.  He also founded and published Glass on Metal, magazine, the premiere enamelist magazine for 33 years (still available from us) and founded the Enamelist Society as well as the Ohio Valley Enameling Guild.