I am an enamelist.
I am an enamelist who uses a torch to fuse vitreous (glass) enamels to metal, generally copper.
I learned torch firing because a kiln was not something in the stars for me at the time but I wanted to learn this fascinating medium.
Now that I am ready to own a kiln, I do not know if I want one. I like to torch fire. I have thousands of hours in learning about the quirks and limitations of this process, as well as the possibilities, and I love it even more now.
Because it is a challenge. But there is a level of control there also. Adaptation leads to discovery for me. I love seeing the transformation from powdered glass and copper sheet to one solid, shining piece right before my eyes.
Some will say using a torch over a kiln can be viewed as a form of instant gratification. And it can be, no doubt, but I have found nothing instant in the techniques I have readjusted for this method. The successes have felt like pure joy precisely because so much time and effort (not to mention materials) have gone into that moment when it all works out right.
It satisfies me. Because, just like so many of us in our own personal lives, the pieces I create have been through the fire and have emerged more interesting and beautiful for it.
And that will never not amaze me.