Portrait by Andy Pilsbury

Elaine was born in Ladywood and grew up in Quinton, Birmingham where she still lives. Her first job after leaving school in 1976 was as an enameller at the Fattorini factory on Barr Street. Thomas Fattorini Ltd are metal goods manufacturers producing medals, trophies and badges who are now based on Frederick Street. Vitreous enamelling is a process of fusing powdered glass to another material such as silver, by firing in a kiln and melting the powder which hardens to form a decorative, durable coating.

Elaine left her job at Fattorini to have her two children, and then worked in school meals provision for 17 years. She returned to work as an enameller in 2002, this time at Deakin & Francis on Regent Place. Deakin & Francis produce fine jewellery cufflinks and accessories and Elaine still works for the company as an enameller.

Listen to Elaine

Elaine talks about the process of enamelling