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Ana Tkabladze Dances with Glass

On a warm May evening in old town Alexandria, a small silver shop is buzzing with activity. There is excitement in the air and the ice-cold Cha Cha is flowing. Ana Tkabladze has a show. The entrance hall is jammed and people spill out into the historic brick-lined street. Inside, there is a bar, but more importantly, Ana's work is upstairs.

Working in any medium to produce art is difficult, but Ana works in multiple: silver and enamel, and also gold and gemstones. She is also facile working in copper. Combining materials in this way has challenges in spades, and those multiply when one of them is enamel. The smith must first anneal the metal properly, hitting the right temperatures to shape and texture the material (which differs with the type of metal) without causing later structural issues. Even then when everything is executed perfectly, to add enamel is literally another layer of extreme complexity. Each piece carefully laid out in advance and then predicting which way the g…

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