Thursday, 24 March 2011

Enamelling



One of the cool features of the hotel we stayed at last week was an extensive craft centre, with free tuition in a variety of arts and crafts (just a nominal charge was made for materials).

The one I really wanted to try out was enamelling - since it's not so easy to try out at home - so we booked ourselves into an hour-and-a-half session on Thursday afternoon.

The basic process is simple enough. You use very fine sandpaper to polish the oxides and grease from a little metal shape, you sprinkle on the powdered glass which will make up the enamel finish, and then you fire it in a kiln at about 850°C. You can then add extra glass beads and fire it for a second time to get surface effects.

I made a little flower pendant and some heart shapes that I'll use for earrings, and my husband made a magnet using millefiori beads (glass with patterns through it, which spread out as the glass melts in the furnace).

It was fun to have a play, but I didn't feel like I had enough control of the process to get really good results - most of my favourite enamelled jewellery (such as my flag bracelet) has little metal walls dividing the different colours, which gives for a much more controlled effect.



13 comments:

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

I've always wanted to do that, and I think your results were great. Where were you that you were at such a cool hotel? What that all hotels had craft classes, I'd be a happy woman.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

I've always wanted to do that, and I think your results were great. Where were you that you were at such a cool hotel? What that all hotels had craft classes, I'd be a happy woman.

Rachel said...

The technique you are thinking of, I think, is cloisonne. It can be achieved either by removing some of the base metal or by soldering wire to the base shape.

I think you did a great job - both of you - as first attempts sometimes go dreadfully wrong!

Tabor said...

I agree with Rachel in that these are lovely for first time efforts. You will have a nice memory forever.

Ginny said...

These are exquisite for a beginner!

Louiz said...

They're lovely, and I really like the flower:)

yogurt said...

Ooh ooh ooh! Me next! I love your pendant. Very cool that could be done in one class.

Also interesting because just this summer I bought an enamel pendant from a NYC vendor. I love mine, too.

Lilian Nattel said...

My older d has done some enamelling in school, and the swirl of colours is interesting even when there isn't a lot of control.

Bangkok.Ian said...

As another commenter mentioned, the enamel work with fields made from wires to keep colours seperate is called cloisonne. I do like the free-flow effects you got with your attempts though. They will remind you of a lovely break, and you have yet another skill ticked off on your ever more eclectic list.

becky said...

Good to take advantage of such an opportunity...the kiln, and all. Nice results!

Elizabeth Braun said...

I did that in a high school CDT lesson once, so your description brought back memories!!=)

Charlotte said...

So pretty!!! Sounds like you stayed in a great hotel :)

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Another skill for your collection :)

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